Prof. Steven Banwart

Steve Banwart

Professor of Environmental Engineering Science, and
Director of The Kroto Research Institute

Kroto Research Institute
North Campus
University of Sheffield
Broad Lane
Sheffield S3 7HQ

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5742     
Room: G05 Kroto

Personal Assistant: Debbie Hill
Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 5707


PhD Natural Environmental Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – Zurich; MSc Environmental Engineering, U. of Iowa (USA); BSc Civil Engineering, U. of Iowa (USA)


Prof Steven Banwart is an international leader in the study of reactive processes in soil and groundwater. He leads the U of Sheffield Cell-Mineral Research Centre (C-MRC) across 6 departments, leads the SCOPE international Rapid Assessment Process project on Benefits of Soil Carbon, is Principal Investigator of the European Commission FP7 Large Integrating Project Soil Transformations in European Catchments (SoilTrEC), is co-I on the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Programme Grant on Mineral-Bio Interfaces and led the recently completed UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Large Grant on Biological Weathering from Nano-metre to Soil Profile Scale.

He chairs the steering committee of the NERC Facility for Environmental Nanomaterials Analysis and Characterisation (FENAC) and is past Secretary of the European Association of Geochemistry.

The University of Sheffield Cell-Mineral Research Centre holds a grant portfolio of over £8.3M tackling basic and applied research at the interface between pure sciences, engineering application and environmental policy. Research is from molecular to global scale, with core themes of Biodegradation on Mineral Surfaces, Global Soil Sustainability and Land Use, Synthetic Biology in environmental applications and reactions and transport of Radionuclides in the Environment.

Activities and Distinctions

  • PI on £6M EC grant on soil sustainability and ecoservices with EU, USA and China partners
  • Led a recently completed £1.74M NERC Large Grant
  • Co-I and theme leader on £5M EPSRC Programme Grant on Biological-Mineral Interfaces
  • Over 100 refereed publications, including a research textbook on Mine Water Pollution
  • Commissioned article on global soil sustainability featured in Nature and flagged on issue cover
  • Invited co-author of foresight chapter Benefits of Soil Carbon in UNEP Yearbook 2012
  • Chair of SCOPE Project, Benefits of Soil Carbon: science synthesis for international policy
  • Co-author of most downloaded article from Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
  • Leads The University of Sheffield Cell-Mineral Research Centre
  • Track record of research funding from 4 UK research councils: EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC, TSB
  • £8.4M in active research grants of which £6M is attributable research income as PI
  • £24.7M in UK and EU grants and contracts including £11M attributable as PI since 1995
  • An international track record in chemical weathering kinetics and soil processes
  • An international track record in mineral and cell surface chemistry
  • An international track record in aquifers as biological reactors to remove pollution
  • The University of Sheffield Public Orator, 2011 - present
  • Chair, Steering Committee, NERC Facility for Environmental Nanoscience Analysis and Characterisation, 2009-present
  • Member of Editorial Board, Microbial Biotechnology, 2009 - present
  • Secretary, European Association of Geochemistry, 2008 – 2011
  • Lead organiser of international Critical Zone research development workshop, U. Delaware, 2011
  • Co-organiser for 4th and 5th International Conferences on Bioremediation, 2008 and 2011
  • Member of UK Nanotechnologies Environmental Risk Assessment Task Force, 2007
  • Co-organiser for EPSRC-NSF workshop on Bio-Soil Interactions, Boston, April 2007
  • External Examiner MSc Geochemistry Programmes, U. Leeds 2006-2010
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 1998 - 2006
  • Goldschmidt Lecturer, Norwegian Geological Survey, Feb. 1998
  • Plenary and invited speaker to a number of international research conferences
  • Member of EPSRC, NERC and BBSRC Peer-Review Colleges


  • 2011-2014: “Big Energy Upgrade” funded by EC ERDF project, £7M with 14 partners.  Lenny Koh as U. Sheffield PI with many Co-Is. Value: £825,000
  • 2010-2012: “Bioengineering from First Principles” funded by EPSRC Feasibility Account.  SA Banwart is PI with 9 U. Sheffield academic staff. Value: £200,000
  • 2010-2015: “Bio-Mineral Interfaces” funded by EPSRC Programme Grant (£5.0M).  John Harding PI, SA Banwart and 6 others as Co-Is. Value: £450,458
  • 2010-2014: “Biogeochemical Gradients and Radionuclide Transport” funded by NERC Consortium Grant (£3.5M). U. Sheffield share: SF Thornton, M. Romero-Gonzalez and SA Banwart. Value: £521,210
  • 2009-2014: “Soil Transformations in European Catchments” funded by EC Large Integrating Project. SA Banwart is PI with 15 EU, USA and China partners. Value: £6.0M
  • 2009: “EPSRC Collaborative Training Account Funding” Modules for International PG Training Programme. SA Banwart, M Romero-Gonzalez and W Huang. Value: £72,000
  • 2009-2014: “Nuclear Fission Research, Science and Technology “ funded by EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre. PIs: Francis Livens (Manchester), Neil Hyatt (Sheffield). SA Banwart is Co-I: Radionuclides in the Environment. Value: £7.06M
  • 2008-2012: “AQUAREHAB – restoration of river bank water quality” funded by EC FP7 Integrating Project. Co-Investigators: SA Banwart, SF Thornton, RD Wilson. Value: £204,000
  • 2008-2012: “DIAMOND – Nuclear Waste Management” funded by EPSRC UK Consortium. £4.5M total funded. N. Hyatt, SA Banwart. Value: £560,000
  • 2007-2008: "Interaction of Nanoparticles with Microbes" funded by NERC Environmental Nanosciences Initiative. Investigators: W Huang, PJ Dobson, SA Banwart. Value: £48,316
  • 2007-2010: "Plant evolution, CO2 and mineral weathering" funded by NERC Standard Grant. Investigators: D Beering, J.R. Leake, SA Banwart. Value: £406,000
  • 2007-2008: "Sorby Nanosciences Investigation Centre" funded by European Regional Development Fund. Investigators: M. Rainforth, T. Cullis, SA Banwart and J. Haycock. Value: £2.1M
  • 2007-2008: "Human Pathogens in the Soil Environment" funded by NERC Environment & Human Health Programme. Investigators: SA Banwart as PI with partners at 8 Institutions Value: £57,000
  • 2006-2007: "US-UK Workshop on Bio-Soil Interactions" funded by EPSRC Workshop Grant for UK organisers with NSF partners in USA. Investigators: K Soga SA Banwart and R Whalley. Value: £31,000
  • 2006-2008: "SoilCritZone – EC Specific Support Action"funded by EC. Investigators: 9 EU partners, U. Bristol-led, SA Banwart U. Sheffield (£27k). Value:£446,000
  • 2006-2007: "Commercialisation of the Aquifer Assessment Tool" funded by EPSRC Follow-On Grant for research commercialisation. Investigators: RD Wilson, SA Banwart, SF Thornton, DN Lerner. Value: £87,000
  • 2007-2009: "Integrated Pollution Management Network" funded by DTI Knowledge Transfer Network, 11 partners. Investigators: U. Oxford lead, SA Banwart is Sheffield Co-I. Value: £62,000
  • 2005-2010: "NERC Consortium GrantBiologically-Mediated Weathering of Minerals" funded by NERC.Investigators: SA Banwart (PI), J.R. Leake, K.V. Ragnarsdottir, L. Benning,Universities ofSheffield(£885k), Bristol and Leeds. Value: £1.742M
  • 2005-2008: "EPSRC Collaborative Training AccountMasters Training Package Development" funded by EPSRC.Investigators: SA Banwart, SF Thornton, J Boxall, R Ashley. Value: £175,000
  • 2005-2008: "EPSRC Industrial CASE Studentship" funded by EPSRC with BNFL. Investigators: SA Banwart, M. Romero-Gonzalez, S.F. Thornton. Value: £66,257
  • 2004-2009: "Groundwater from Nanoscale to Catchment Scale" funded by EPSRC Platform Grant Continuation. Investigators: Lerner D.N., SA Banwart, Thornton S.F., Wilson R.,Romero-Gonzalez M. Value: £397,991
  • 2004-2005: "Seed money to support multidisciplinary research" funded by U. Sheffield Environment Division. Investigator: SA Banwart. Value: £10,000
  • 2004-2009: "Nanoscale Observation of Biodegradation" funded by EPSRC Responsive Mode Grant. Investigators: SA Banwart with 10 U. Sheffield investigators. Value: £729,000
  • 2003-2006: "Use of biosensors to visualise biodegradation" funded by PhD studentship for multidisciplinary research U. Sheffield. Investigators: SA Banwart, S. Rolfe, J. Scholes, D. Lerner. Value : £36,000
  • 2003-2006: "Natural attenuation of contaminant mixtures" funded by EPSRC Faraday Partnership CASE studentship EPSRC, Environment Agency. Investigator: SA Banwart. Value: £50,415
  • 2002-2005: "Development of an in situ aquifer assessment tool" funded by EPSRC Faraday Partnership Fast-Track Grant. Investigators: SA Banwart, P Nathanail (U. Nottingham), S.F. Thornton, D.N. Lerner,T Elliot (Queens U. Belfast). Value: £369,523
  • 2002-2005: Development of an in situ aquifer assessment tool (2 EPSRC Faraday Partnership CASE studentships)" funded by EPSRC, Environment Agency, Shell Global Solutions. Investigator: SA Banwart. Value: £94,000
  • 2002-2005: "Visualisation of biodegradation in groundwater" funded by BBSRC Engineering and Biological Systems Grant. Investigators: SA Banwart and D.N.Lerner. Value: £248,712
  • 2001-2005: "Urban Land and Water" funded by EPSRC Masters Training Package Grant. Investigators: SA Banwart, D.N. Lerner, A.J.Saul, D. Smith,C.McLeod. Value: £351,350
  • 2001-2004: "Spatial variability of organics adsorption in soil" funded by EPSRC Waste and Pollution Management Grant. Investigators: SA Banwart (joint with U. Durham, £250k total). Value: £125,410
  • 2001-2004: "Natural attenuation in the chalk aquifer" funded by EPSRC Waste and Pollution Management Grant. Investigators:S.F.Thornton, D.N. Lerner, SA Banwart, G. Wealthall,S.H. Bottrell, R. Pickup. Value: £412,186


  • Leads development of international Postgraduate Training Programme in soil sustainability
  • £570k in EPSRC MSc-Level teaching grant income 2001- 2008

Selected Publications

This person does not have any publications available.