School of Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Adam Jarvis

Reader in Environmental Engineering



I joined School of Engineering in 2004 following 3.5 years working for International Mining Consultants Ltd (now WYG).  Between 2004 and 2007 I held the post of Environment Agency National R&D Fellow in mine waste and mine water pollution, conducting applied research in the general field of metal pollution of freshwater systems.  Since 2013 I have been Reader in Environmental Engineering, in which role I continue to pursue research interests in the source, transport and fate of metals in freshwaters, and in the development of sustainable systems for the treatment of metal-contaminated waters.  In recent years I have led major research projects funded by Defra and the Environment Agency investigating the provenance and impacts of pollution from abandoned metal mines, and the application of novel 'passive' treatment systems to remediate such discharges.  I recently led the process design of the UK's first ever large scale passive mine water treatment system, at the abandoned Force Crag mine, Cumbria.

I currently lead (2020 - 2024) a major research project on the impacts of legacy waste sites on the coastal zone, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)   I have also led a number of research investigations of the dynamics of metal flux in river systems under varying hydrological conditions.  Most recently this is through an ongoing collaborative project with the British Geological Survey (BGS) and Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), investigating the role and remediation of diffuse pollution in abandoned mine catchments.


PhD Water Resources Engineering (Newcastle University, 2000)

MSc Environmental Engineering (Newcastle University, 1994)

BSc (Hons) Geography (Manchester University, 1992)

CEng (Chartered Engineer)

C.WEM (Chartered Water and Environmental Manager)

MCIWEM (Member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management)

Roles and responsibilities

Head of mine water research team in the School of Engineering

Degree Programme Director, MSc Environmental Engineering

Module leader for taught classes on MSc Environmental Engineering programme 

Industrial experience

Worked for 3.5 years for International Mining Consultants Ltd (2000-2004), designing full-scale mine water treatment systems for the UK Coal Authority, and conducting environmental audit and due diligence work at mining and metallurgical facitilities internationally (e.g. Ireland, Portugal, Macedonia, Kazakhstan).  As Environment Agency Research Fellow (2004 - 2007) had a remit to provide technical guidance to the Agency on all matters relating to abandoned mines and the environment, particularly in relation to meeting requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.  I have authored numerous technical reports for industry and government in the field of metal pollution of freshwaters, including Environment Agency and Defra publications.  I regularly work with engineering consultants, primarily assisting with investigations of pollution characterisation and treatment. 


Vice President of the International Mine Water Association (IMWA) (2014 - 2018)

Member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)


Research Interests

Assessing the extent and severity of post-industrial and metal pollution; design and engineering of novel treatment methods for mining-related pollution; assessing the relative importance of diffuse and point source pollution; catchment-scale water pollution management in the context of hydrological extremes.

Research Funding

Legacy wastes in the coastal zone: Environmental risks and management futures, NERC, 2020-2024

Role and remediation of diffuse pollution sources in abandoned metal mine catchments, Coal Authority, 2018-2021

Long term testing of short HRT passive water treatment systems, Coal Authority, 2017-2020

Impact of an extreme rainfall event on solute and sediment dynamics in a mineralised river system, NERC, 2016-2017

Monitoring and optimisation of the Force Crag mine water treatment system, Defra / Coal Authority, 2015-2019

Abandoned non-coal mine programme, Coal Authority, 2013-2015

Characterisation and targeting of measures for (non-coal) polluted mine waters, Defra, 2013-2015

Mitigation of pollution from abandoned metal mines Phase II, Environment Agency, 2011-2012

Carbon dioxide degassing in coal mine waters, Coal Authority, 2011-2012

Mitigation of pollution from abandoned metal mines Phase I, Environment Agency, 2009-2011

River Tyne sediment study, multiple funders, 2009-2011

Esteem Indicators 

Member of the International Steering Committee for the INAP Global Acid Rock Drainage (GARD) Guide

Executive Council member of the International Mine Water Association (IMWA), 2007 - 2014

Vice President of the International Mine Water Association (2014 - 2017)

Chairman of the Partnership for Acid Drainage Remediation in Europe (PADRE), 2009 - 2015

Council member of the North East Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers (NEIMME), 2007-2011  

Postgraduate supervision 

Ongoing PhD project supervision:

Quantifying the importance of different sources of diffuse pollution in mining-impacted rivers (2018-present).

PhD projects supervised to completion (completion year):

Rare earth element (REE) source, transport and fate in UK mining districts (2019)

Recovering value from water industry by-products and waste streams (2019)

A technical and economic evaluation of the resource potential of abandoned mine sites and mine water discharges (2016).

Source, fate and transport of metal contaminants in the River Tyne basin: A technical and economic evaluation of aqueous metal dynamics and options for river basin scale remediation (2012).

Coupled hydraulic and geochemical performance assessment of passive mine water treatment systems in the UK (2011).

Stable isotopes and trace elements as indicators of mine water remediation processes in passive treatment systems and mine water pollution in streams and catchments (2010).

Mine water management at the catchment scale: A case study from Northumberland (2008).

Potential uses of basic oxygen steel furnace slag for the remediation of contaminated wastewaters and solid waste (2006).




Design of Sustainable Engineering Systems 2 (Contributor)


Pollution control engineering for groundwaters and surface waters (Module Leader)

Environmental Engineering Design and Project Management (Module Leader)

Project Skills and Professional Development in Environmental Engineering (Contributor)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD):

Mine Water Pollution short course, for Environment Agency and Coal Authority (Course Leader) (2010-2011)

Groundwater Chemistry, for Environment Agency (Contributor) (2008-2011)

Groundwater Contamination, for Environment Agency (Course Leader) (2008-2011)

Source apportionment in abandoned mine catchments: Principles and practice, for Environment Agency and Coal Authority (Course Leader) (2014)