Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Staff Profile

Professor Catherine Biggs

Prof of Chemical Engineering


Prof of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Strategic Projects

I am an environmental engineer with cross-disciplinary research interests, incorporating a range of analytical approaches (biological, physical and chemical), and experimental length scales (laboratory systems to field sites) to study biological adhesion and biofilm formation, predominantly, but not exclusively within the urban water environment. My strategy is to develop fundamental understanding of the biofilm process, which aims to help address Industry and community needs, through the application of leading edge experimental techniques, with process engineering knowledge. 


Roles and Responsibilities

Associate Dean of Strategic Projects


PhD in Chemical Engineering (The University of Queensland, Australia, 2000)

BEng in Environmental Engineering (with Hons) (The University of Queensland, 1995)

Previous Positions

  • 2010 - 2018 Professor, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2009 - 2010 Reader, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2007 - 2008 Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2001 - 2006 Lecturer, University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2000 - 2001 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK


I successfully lead and managed collaborative projects with a broad skills base of investigators including chemical, civil and environmental engineers, microbiologists and social scientists. I was an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow (09/2007 – 08/2012). I am a strong advocate for cross disciplinary research with a broad funding base across UK Research Councils, (BBSRC and EPSRC), as well as EU and UK Charities and Industry throughout my research career.

Research Interests

  • Fundamental biofilm formation and stability
  • Engineering biofilms within urban water systems rather than just focusing on removal
  • FatBergs
  • Tailored technologies for urban water systems

Current Projects

  • UKCRIC: National Water Infrastructure Facility: Distributed Water Infrastructure. (EPSRC)
  • TWENTY 65: Tailored Water Solutions for Positive Impact. EPSRC
  • SCARAB - Sheffield Collaboratorium for Antimicrobial Resistance And Biofilms