Professor Joby Boxall
Head of Department
Professor of Water Infrastructure Engineering
EPSRC Challenging Engineer
Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD
Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5760
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700
My research protects public health and well-being through ensuring the quality of our water supply.
Professor Joby Boxall
Professor Joby Boxall is Chair of Water Infrastructure Engineering and Head of the Department. He trained as a civil engineer, completing his undergraduate degree and his PhD in mixing and transport of pollutants in natural river channels, in the Department. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.
Joby’s research is concerned with urban water (from source, to treatment and supply), and helps to protect public health and well-being through ensuring the quality of that supply. He takes a multidisciplinary approach to ensuring the provision of sustainable water services in the face of global grand challenges such as population growth and increasing density, climate change and ageing infrastructure. Joby works to monitor water quality, such as discolouration or bacteriological issues. He looks at the conditions inside our water pipes, including the biofilms in our water systems to ensure they don’t harbour harmful bacteria. He also investigates contaminant ingress, where dangerous contaminants can enter pipes through leaks and be transported through the pipe network. Joby’s work aims to understand our hydraulics systems’ behaviour by modelling networks and using physical flow measurements, to better predict where failures might occur and address quantity issues.
His core expertise is in hydraulic engineering, but he is known for integration and application of other disciplines to address major challenges. His interdisciplinary work ranges from applied microbiology to computer to social science. His leadership of the EPSRC Water Grand Challenges consortium is a flagship example of this.
Joby’s research focuses on the operation and management of water distribution systems, ranging from leakage, to water quality and asset management. His long-running Prediction of Discolouration in Distribution Systems research is a leading example that has and continues to help water companies and their supply chain to deliver substantial service improvements in the supply of safe and wholesome drinking water through ageing pipe infrastructure, while delivering multi-million-pound savings.
Professor Boxall has taught a range of modules, from specialist masters levels modules on modelling water distribution systems, to core undergraduate modules on open channel hydraulics. He also pioneered innovative ‘self-teach’ open-channel flow laboratory classes.
Joby has held a number of important roles in the Department including being Departmental Director of Research from 2009 to 2014, where he led the 2014 Research Excellence Framework submission. He took over as Head of Department in 2017.
- Fish KE, Osborn AM & Boxall JB (2017) Biofilm structures (EPS and bacterial communities) in drinking water distribution systems are conditioned by hydraulics and influence discolouration. Science of the Total Environment, 593-594, 571-580. View this article in WRRO
- Douterelo I, Jackson M, Solomon C & Boxall JB (2017) Spatial and temporal analogies in microbial communities in natural drinking water biofilms. Science of the Total Environment, 581-582, 277-288. View this article in WRRO
- Husband S & Boxall JB (2016) Understanding and Managing Discolouration Risk in Trunk Mains. Water Research, 107, 127-140. View this article in WRRO
- Husband S, Fish KE, Douterelo I & Boxall J (2016) Linking discolouration modelling and biofilm behaviour within drinking water distribution systems. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, 16(4), 942-950. View this article in WRRO
- Douterelo I, Husband S, Loza V & Boxall J (2016) Dynamics of Biofilm Regrowth in Drinking Water Distribution Systems. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(14), 4155-4168. View this article in WRRO
- Fish KE, Osborn AM & Boxall J (2016) Characterising and understanding the impact of microbial biofilms and the extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix in drinking water distribution systems. Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2(4), 614-630. View this article in WRRO
- Fox S, Shepherd W, Collins R & Boxall JB (2015) Experimental Quantification of Contaminant Ingress into a Buried Leaking Pipe during Transient Events. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 142(1). View this article in WRRO
- Machell J & Boxall J (2014) Modeling and Field Work to Investigate the Relationship between Age and Quality of Tap Water. JOURNAL OF WATER RESOURCES PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT, 140(9). View this article in WRRO
- Mounce SR, Boxall JB & Machell J (2010) Development and verification of an online artificial intelligence system for detection of bursts and other abnormal flows. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 136(3), 309-318.