Restoration science and practice

The complexity and scale of contaminated land and groundwater problems facing the re-development of brownfield sites requires an innovative and integrated approach to the implementation of restoration and management strategies.

A photograph of a derelict mill behind the River Don.

The re-development of brownfield sites must accommodate important constraints and challenges.

Restoration science and practice is moving quickly to embrace the concept of sustainable remediation, which explicitly considers social, economic, technical and environmental dimensions within the programme of investigation, technical appraisal, remediation design and management of contaminated sites.

Consequently, there is a need to development and validate new and improved remediation concepts, technologies and decision-making frameworks, which provide problem holders with the appropriate management strategies for rehabilitation of contaminated sites.

At the Groundwater Protection Research Group we believe that the assessment of restoration best practice should be risk-based and site-specific. In many cases suitable restoration technologies already exist, but their implementation by practitioners can be limited by uncertainty in the outcome, cost and the time required to meet clean up targets.

There is, therefore, a need to demonstrate the performance of existing restoration methodologies at real sites, in addition to developing new ones that offer opportunities to manage more complex contamination problems.

We achieve this in our research by integrating novel scientific principles with engineering applications, through proof of concept studies at the bench and field-scale.

We also believe that environmentally acceptable and practical solutions are best achieved through collaboration with problem holders, regulators, consultants and contractors, who form an important input to our research.

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.