Prof Catherine Biggs

Professor Catherine Biggs

Professor of Environmental Engineering


T: +44 (0)114 222 7577


BEng (Hons), PhD, AMIChemE, MRSC

I graduated from the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland in Brisbane Australia with a PhD in investigating Flocculation Processes that occur in Biological Wastewater Treatment systems, and a First Class Honours Degree in Environmental Engineering.

I joined the Department of Chemical and Process (as it was then called) Engineering at The University of Sheffield in June 2000 as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Particle Products Group.

In November 2001 I took up the post of Lecturer, and later senior lecturer and Reader in Biochemical Engineering at the University of Sheffield.  In 2007 I was awarded an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship. In 2010 I was appointed a Professor of Environmental Engineering.

I took up the role of Department's Director of Marketing and Recruitment in July 2012 and Department's Director of Research in May 2014. I am the co-director of the Pennine Water Group.


Research interests

  • Biofilms – using a multidisciplinary approach for characterisation and control of bacterial adhesion and aggregation.
  • Microbiology in urban water systems – using advancecd molecular microbiological techniques to determine who is there, what are they doing, what is the engineering impact?
  • Environmental proteomics – studying the microbial response to stresses in the natural and urban environment.
  • Synthetic biology and the water industry – developing solutions for urban water challanges.

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Recent publications