Professor Virginia Stovin

Professor of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Telephone: +44 (0) 114 222 5051
Fax: +44 (0) 114 222 5700

Email: v.stovin@sheffield.ac.uk
Room: MezC4




My research into urban drainage aims to understand how we can use natural components (soils and plants) to control storm runoff from urban areas, meaning we can work to reduce flood risk and improve water quality.

dr virginia stovin


Virginia studied her first degree in Geography at the University of Manchester and joined the Department as a lecturer in 1995. Her research focuses on Urban Stormwater Management and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS); how we can develop engineered drainage systems using natural components such as soil and plants to manage storm flows generated by urban constructs such as buildings, pavements and car parks.

Virginia looks at the technical performance of vegetated SuDS (particularly green roofs and ponds) and Green Infrastructure, aiming to understand the processes that control the quantity and quality of urban runoff in order to develop fit-for-purpose models of those processes and generate novel strategies to enable storm water to be managed more effectively and sustainably. The work embraces fundamental science (hydrology and hydrodynamics), and has strong practical relevance.

Virginia is an internationally-acknowledged authority on the hydrological performance of green roofs. The work uses pilot-scale green roof test beds and complementary lab trials to understand and model how different soils and vegetation interact to change the way the roofs respond to rainfall events.

Using 3D computer simulation, laboratory tests involving real vegetation and real ponds, Virginia measures the flow patterns of water in storm water ponds, and evaluates how different types of vegetation affect the water flow. By understanding and modelling how vegetation impacts on water movement in ponds, better predictions can be made of pollutant transport and removal, and the ability of ponds to improve water quality. Her research informs the design process for urban drainage systems for improved water quality. This has a positive impact on the ecological status of rivers, and helps to ensure that the UK’s waterways meet the Water Framework Directive.

Other ongoing work focuses on the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to optimise the design of sewer and SuDS components, such as manholes and Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO).

 As part of the TWENTY65 project, she focuses on dual function SuDS and Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) systems.

Selected Publications

Journal articles