Structural engineers in disaster relief training in earthquake ruins

Environmental Technology and Management Research

Explore the work we're doing in environmental technology and management, one of our areas of expertise in Civil Engineering

The negative impacts of human life on our environment are more tangible than ever. Urgent action is needed to improve the health of our planet.

Our environmental technology and management research explores how civil engineering and surveying can help solve current environmental problems, and help identify and prevent future crises.

We're exploring more sustainable ways of treating wastewater and urban runoff, and helping water companies to tackle the increasing pollution of surface waters that's caused by rising populations and increased urbanisation.

We're developing new technologies to counter the rise of emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and microplastics. We're also studying sediment dynamics in ports and rivers where a long history of use has led to contamination that can be resuspended by human activity. And by modelling these processes, we're helping improve decision-making around sediment management.

We're examining the physical infrastructure of transport systems and how humans interact with them, and growing our understanding of the processes involved in creating urban infrastructure – and then using our findings to develop more sustainable methods for the future, such as sustainable drainage systems.

Our research focuses on the following key areas

  • Wastewater Treatment
  • Sustainable Drainage
  • Waste Management and Recycling
  • Sediment Transport
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Transport and Traffic Studies
  • Microplastics in the environment

Funders and collaborations

Our research is frequently funded by major funding organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and by companies and institutions including Southern Water, Highways England, and WPL Ltd. In partnership with Southern Water, we run a collaborative Innovation Hub, which we use to address the most-pressing issues and environmental challenges facing small sewage works.

Methods and facilities

We employ a range of research methods in our work – from laboratory testing and environmental monitoring, to numerical modelling, surveys and questionnaires.

Our key facility is the Environmental Technology Field Station at Petersfield sewage works, where we have labs and testbeds for pilot plants. We also have environmental engineering and hydraulics laboratories at the main campus.

Projects and publications

The outputs of our research are frequently published in leading academics journals, including Water Research, Science of the Total Environment, Ocean and Coastal Management, and Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.

Discover our areas of expertise

Environmental technology and management is an area of expertise within our Civil Engineering research – explore the other area below.

Building Design, Construction Management and Surveying

We're working to understand the increasingly complex and pressurised nature of modern construction, and developing new approaches to project management that take these new challenges into account.

corner of University of Portsmouth building with logo
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Research groups

Environmental Technology and Management Research Group

This University of Portsmouth research group was one of the pioneers in establishing Constructed Wetlands. Explore their previous research projects. Read more.

Water treatment plant
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Microplastics research group

The University of Portsmouth is researching the impact of microplastics on human health and the environment, and finding innovative solutions to plastic pollution.

Microplastics and synthetic fibres on a beach
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Interested in a PhD in Civil Engineering?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Civil Engineering postgraduate research degrees page.