About the Geoenvironmental Research Centre
Professor Hywel Thomas
The University’s Geoenvironmental Research Centre is a pioneer in the field of geoenvironmental engineering. Established in 1996, the Centre aimed to respond to real issues that were affecting the lives of people around the world - land-based environmental problems such as pollution and groundwater contamination.
It merged the traditional disciplines of environmental and geotechnical engineering and adopted an approach unique for the time which involved stakeholders from many disciplines to develop holistic solutions to these major global issues.
From the very start, the Centre set out to pursue ground-breaking research and to serve the needs of industry.
Over the last 17 years the Centre’s staff have worked in some of the world’s most hazardous environments and on some of its most controversial issues. In Africa, staff helped identify and manage land contaminated by persistent organic pollutants while in the Bay of Bengal, the Centre’s research helped inform solutions to the worst case of mass poisoning in the world.
Alongside this, the Centre has been committed to translating its research to help industry in Wales. 770 companies have benefitted from the Centre’s expertise while 14 new ones have been created as a result of its research. It has safeguarded jobs in the Welsh region and helped companies compete in new markets in the UK and overseas.
Today the Centre consists of two senior lecturers, two lecturers, two research fellows, one project manager, six research associates, eight research assistants and 19 PhD students. Its Director is Professor Hywel Thomas FREng FRS FLSW MAE, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, International and Engagement who founded the Centre in 1996 and has led it ever since.
Under Professor Thomas’s leadership, the Centre has achieved international recognition for its research. Its experience and expertise are called upon by industry, governments and UN world organisations such UNESCO.