My research interests include sustainable decision-making tools and public engagement and communication in decision making. I lead a multidisciplinary group of researchers with an interest in sustainability assessment and communication which links a number of established areas of research in the University – sustainable decision-making, complexity modelling and visualisation, and social aspects of environmental research. I have published widely in the field including co-authoring a book on sustainable decision making for water industry asset managers.
My research explores the characteristics of the complex microbial community associated with the control of environmental pollutants with the aim of developing new (and improving existing) engineered technologies. These are applied primarily for the treatment of municipal and industrial wastewaters, biological nutrient removal and anaerobic digestion of solid wastes, sludges and biomass for energy. I am also the programme director of postgraduate environment programmes, comprising: MSc Urban Water & Environmental Management; MSc Water Pollution Control; MSc Industrial Environmental Programme; MSc/MTech Environmental Biotechnology; and MSc Environment.
My research focuses on the enhancement of sustainability in the built environment, including the application of decision mapping techniques, selection, application and measurement of indicators. There is a demand to integrate well recognised sustainable development policy into practice which requires an understanding of the role of stakeholders in decisions and of the opportunities for the enhancement of sustainability. I manage two EU Funded projects Interreg IVB project DC NOISE and ERDF Project ACE Eco-Partnerships. I am also a member of the Tay Estuary Forum Steering Group.
My main areas of research are Urban Ecosystem Services, River Restoration, Urban Drainage and SUDS. I work on many transdisciplinary projects which include social science and arts partners as well as direct collaboration with the public and stakeholders. Current research projects consider mechanisms to reduce urban diffuse pollution and improvement of urban watercourses, particularly using ecosystem-based management and the incorporation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS). I also coordinate the national SUDS network (SUDSnet), and I teach Environmental Management and Civil Engineering at the University of Abertay Dundee.
My research expertise lies in the application of high powered numerical modelling of complex civil engineering systems, which are applicable to many research areas. My research to date has focused on the strength and the stability of thin curved structures such as wind turbine towers and pipelines. In recognition of my international research standing and quality of work up to now I was appointed as the UK National Expert for the Eurocode EN1993-1-6: Strength and Stability of Shell Structures by the European Committee for Standardization. Eurocodes are a set of harmonized technical rules, which have now replaced the British Standards, providing a common approach for the design of buildings and other civil engineering works and construction products. In recent years I have been extensively involved in contract research as an Academic partner in industrial projects. This contract research has been and is almost exclusively focused on the structural and geotechnical engineering aspects of renewable energy and has been strongly directed towards commercial exploitation.
My research is mainly focused on using advanced numerical methods for the investigation of the behaviour of structures during dynamic events, such as earthquakes, blast and impact. My interests lie in complex and detailed finite element analysis and coding improvements to existing software. I was a member of the EU funded Prohitec (Protecting of Historical Buildings by Reversible Mixed Technologies) research team investigating the advantages of seismic upgrading using super elastic Shape Memory Alloys. My PhD research dealt with assessing the behaviour of reinforced concrete columns under blast loads. Additionally, I worked for the global engineering consultancy Atkins in their oil and gas advanced analysis team. During my time at Atkins I was awarded Northern Research Partnership funding in collaboration with the University of Dundee to assess the behaviour of corrugated steel panels used in offshore modules under blast loads.
I am a lecturer in geotechnical engineering in the Division of Natural and Built Environment in the School of Science, Engineering and Technology having formerly served as a research associate in geotechnical engineering at Newcastle University.
By training I am a geotechnical engineer and have been working on advanced geotechnical investigation of on-shore and off-shore soft sediments. I worked for several years in both industry and academia in various universities and industrial sectors across the globe.
I have a particular interest in the applications of technology for learning and the use of simulations as a method of learning. I have published papers in the use of simulations for workplace learning and held the role of editor of Interact, the Journal of the Society for the Advancement of Games and Simulation in Education and Training (SAGSET). My current research is based on two strands; matters of interest in relation to student learning and transition, and investigating learning in large multi-disciplinary construction project teams. I also review books on behalf of Chartered Association of Building Engineers and a peer reviewer of papers submitted for the Journal of Environmental Accounting and Management and the Journal of Energy Policy.
I joined Abertay in 2009 under the ACE Eco-Partnerships project working with SMEs to improve resource efficiency and identify opportunities for industrial symbiosis. This was followed by work on the LoCal-Net project, setting up low carbon innovation networks and assisting SMEs to engage with R&D. Prior to this I held positions at Tayside Scientific Services, SEPA and ALS Environmental (B.C. Canada) related to consumer protection, environmental monitoring, assessment and reporting. I studied Environmental Science at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia Canada, and Energy and Environmental Management at Abertay. I am currently assisting research projects within Abertay Centre for the Environment focussed on innovation in both the low carbon and water sectors.
My research interests focus on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in the areas of: Long-term Operation, Management and Performance; Cost Benefit Analysis; Transitioning (influencing change) of urban water systems; Spatial Planning; Sector Education and Engagement; e-Learning. Currently: a key player in the EU funded project: E2STORMED - examining transition phases from traditionally managed to sustainably managed urban water systems in five cities; and the CREW funded Scottish Water Sector Overview Map which will demonstrate how different parts of the sector link together. I also manage several privately financed research and consultancy contracts with BEAR Scotland (pollution control monitoring), Greenleaf (validation of a novel SuDS tree pit) and Veolia Water (asset management).
I joined the Abertay team in 2009 to work on the EU Interreg IVb project Skills Integration and New Technologies. Prior to this I worked in the land management industry as a specialist providing advice on the assessment, adoption and long term management and operation of SUDS. I have managed a large portfolio of sites for the private sector including simple stand alone assets and complex multi-SUDS sites. My current role involves advising and delivering training to Local Authority and the private sector.
Based within the School of Science, Environment & Technology I am responsible for the administration of the Urban Water Technology Centre and Food Innovation @ Abertay. My role includes liaising with both internal and external stakeholders and coordinating the administration of research, consultancy and training projects.