Water Engineering discipline

The Department of Civil and Structural Engineering hosts the UK's largest urban water research discipline, bringing together people from different expertise to advance engineering and scientific knowledge across all aspects of water engineering and management.

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Projects | Facilities | People

Research groups

Our research builds upon a culture of nurturing and addressing industry needs in collaboration with a range of stakeholders to provide innovative solutions to challenging problems. Our activities span a range of fundamental, experimental and applied research, including many aspects of understanding and modelling hydraulics and hydrological processes, hydrogeology, drainage and flood risk management, potable water distribution infrastructure, environmental fluid mechanics, surface mixing processes and sediment transport.

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
CIV_River_Water

Our research covers coastal and river hydrodynamics- impacts of vegetation on flow and mixing processes/pollutant transport in natural and engineered contexts; and numerical modelling.

Core members:
Ian GuymerGeorges KesserwaniAlma SchellartJames Shucksmith Virginia Stovin & Simon Tait

Groundwater Protection and Restoration
water

Our research involves laboratory, field and modelling applications on: groundwater hydrology; contaminant hydrogeology; fate transport and remediation of subsurface pollutants; site characterization and risk assessment.

Group members:
Domenico Bau & Steve Thornton

GPRG website

SuDS (Sustainable drainage systems) and Urban Drainage
CIV_Water_Pollution

Our work areas include hydrological performance model development for vegetated SuDS (including green roofs); rainfall and uncertainty analysis; urban flooding as well as use of field and laboratory observations and CFD models to understand hydrodynamics and pollutant transport processes in drainage systems.

Group members:
Joby BoxallIan GuymerGeorges KesserwaniAndy NicholsAlma SchellartJames ShucksmithVirginia Stovin & Simon Tait

Water Distribution Systems and Infrastructure 
river bed

Our research covers application of advanced modelling tools; laboratory and field work to hydraulic and water quality interactions in piped networks; including leakage; discoloration and pressure transients.

Group members:
Joby BoxallRichard CollinsIsabel DoutereloIan GuymerStewart HusbandVanessa Speight

Catchments and River Engineering
CIV_Water_Drops

Our research involves flooding; hydrodynamic modelling; water quality processes and modelling; pollutant dynamics and transport; urban/rural interactions; eco hydraulics.

Group members:
Ian GuymerGeorges KesserwaniCharles Rouge & James Shucksmith

The Water Engineering Research Group is part of the University-wide Sheffield Water Centre, and many of our staff were also part of the Pennine Water Group.


Research projects

Our research builds upon a culture of nurturing and addressing industry needs in collaboration with a range of stakeholders to provide innovative solutions to challenging problems.

Research themes

Our work is focused across five major research themes, which align our interdisciplinary academic strengths to address some of the key scientific, social and environmental challenges of the new millennium.


Facilities and resources

Our water engineering activities make use of a variety of innovative facilities and resources.

Pipe systems
A row of black pipes create a curved frame around technical equipment inside a bright research facility
  • Temperature controlled potable water system for biofilm growth/examination 3 x 200 m of 90 mm pipe

  • Copper pipe loop

  • Contaminant Ingress test rig 120 m x 90 mm pipe

  • 4 off 100 m pipe coils and 2 off double pump pressure systems for transients in pipe testing

For more information contact Dr Richard Collins

Open channel flumes
  • 1.2 m wide, 0.6 m deep, 15 m long fibre glass panelled flume

  • Annular flume in temperature controlled laboratory

  • 300 mm x 450 mm x 12 m glass flume

  • 500 mm x 500 mm x 16 m glass panelled flume with pump and flow control

For more information contact Professor Ian Guymer

Model aquifer facility
The yellow steel crossbeam and metallic structures of a large scale facility surround a group of researchers in high viz jackets and hardhats stood on sand
  • 40 m long x 6 m wide x 5 m deep model sandy aquifer with flow control systems for experimental research
  • See ICAIR

For more information contact Professor Steve Thornton

Urban drainage
  • Surface/Sewer flows interaction facility, 8 m x 4 m surface linked to a 75 mm drainage pipe work by a 240 mm ‘manhole’.
  • Hydrological Performance Test Beds
  • 300 mm dia x 20 m clear acrylic pipe test rig with pump and flow control
  • Real Time Control Test facility, 35 m of 200 mm pipe with 4, 1 m diameter manholes. Featuring automated gate and depth sensors.
  • ICAIR/PLEXUS

For more information contact Dr James Shucksmith

Green Infrastructure
Plants and mushroom growing on a rooftop testing rig
  • 12 off green roof test rigs with flow monitoring and moisture data collection system
  • 2 x 300 mm diameter infiltration columns for unsaturated hydraulic conductivity measurements. The systems include: controlled inflow/rainfall; moisture content sensors and tensiometers within the sample; and drainage/runoff measurement below the columns.

For more information contact Professor Virginia Stovin

Settling Column
  • 300 mm dia x 6 m tall settling column with Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) sensor

For more information contact Dr Andy Nichols 


People

Our dedicated staff that make this research possible.

Academics

Name Research Discipline Title

Bau, Dr Domenico

Groundwater Protection and Restoration Senior Lecturer

Boxall, Prof. Joby

Water Distribution Systems and Infrastructure Head of Department
Professor of Water Infrastructure Engineering
EPSRC Challenging Engineer

Collins, Dr Richard

Water Distribution Systems and Infrastructure Lecturer in Water Engineering

Guymer, Prof Ian

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage
Professor of Civil Engineering

Kesserwani, Dr Georges

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage
Senior Lecturer in Catchment Science

Nichols, Dr Andy

SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage MEng Engineering Lecturer & Senior Lecturer in Water Engineering

Rouge, Dr Charles

Water Distribution Systems and Infrastructure Lecturer

Schellart, Dr Alma

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage
Senior Lecturer in Water Engineering

Shucksmith, Dr James

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage
Senior Lecturer in Water Engineering

Soler, Dr Isabel Douterlo

Water Distribution Systems and Infrastructure EPSRC LWEC Research Fellow

Stovin, Prof. Virginia

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage
Professor of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management

Tait, Prof Simon

Environmental Fluid Mechanics
SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage
Professor of Water Engineering

Thornton, Prof Steve

Groundwater Protection and Restoration Professor in Environmental Engineering Science
Zhou, Dr Lu

Resources, Infrastructure Systems and built Environments Discipline

SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) and Urban Drainage

Catchments and River Engineering

Lecturer

Our league table rankings

Top 100 in the world and 8th in the UK according to the QS World University rankings by subject (2021).

11th in the UK according to the Times University League Table (2021).

8th in the UK according to the Complete University Guide (2021).

Flagship institutes

The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.