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Dr Muaaz Wright-Syed

Dr Muaaz Wright-Syed

Research Associate

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RA for GCRF-funded CATALYST working on Circular eutrophication towards a resilient environment and sustainable economy for Global South.



2017 - 2020 Cardiff University. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Geo-environmental Engineering (OBTAINED) Thesis title: Enhanced Biodegradation of Model Lignocellulosic Wastes in Laboratory-Scale Bioreactors and Landfills.  

2012 - 2016      Cardiff University. BEng in Civil Engineering (Year in Industry) (OBTAINED) 
Classification: First (Top 5%). Thesis Title: The Effect of Lignin on the Generation of Methane in Synthetic Municipal Solid Waste with the Action of Manganese Peroxidase Enzyme. 

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

Invited seminar at the University of Southampton-Technische Universitat Delft (February 2021) 

Nominated for International Solid Waste Association Publication (ISWA) Award 2020 (2020) 

Best Speaker – Young Persons’ Lecture Competition (Wales) (2018). IOM3 – Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining 

Best Speaker - Judge's Choice Award (2017). Speaking of Science Conference (https://twitter.com/SoS_Conf/status/860159479865905158?s=20) 

Best Speaker (2017). 9th Gregynog PGR Conference 

Emerging Engineers Award (Wales) - (2017). Institution of Civil Engineers 

Summer School Scholarship (2017). School of Environment, Tsinghua University. I also visited Professor Wenjing Lu and her labs, where we discussed our research ideas and possibility of collaboration in the future.  

International Travel Bursaries (2017). Cardiff University, School of Engineering funded my trip to Tsinghua University on a bursary. I also attended the Sixteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium in Sardinia funded almost entirely on scholarships & prize money from the awards listed in this section.  

David Douglas Award - Outstanding Paper (2017). South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust 

Wastepack Awards (2016 and 2017). Chartered Institution of Wastes Management  

Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) Scholar (2016). Environmental Research & Education Foundation’s second scholar in the world outside of North America.    

Postgraduate Research Scholarship - PhD (2016). School of Engineering, Cardiff University  

International Student Scholarship - BEng (2012). School of Engineering, Cardiff University  

Related news

Students and staff enjoy 9th Engineering Postgraduate Research Conference

Cardiff student scoops another award

Cardiff students' work recognised by South Wales Institute of Engineers

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)

Engineers Without Borders

United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) Early Career Researchers' Forum

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February 2021 – Research Associate at Cardiff University (School of Engineering) 
Working on circular eutrophication in Vietnam as part of the CATALYST project. Activities include conducting research (output to feed into journal papers), undertaking management-related activities and applying for further funding. 

Jan 2017 – November 2020    Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) Scholar  
My research involved the use of experimental and numerical modelling techniques to accelerate biodegradation of lignocellulosic wastes for enhanced biogas generation in municipal solid waste landfills. Teaching and supervision activities - 1st Year: Structural Mechanics, Attending University Talks, Lab work 2nd Year: Environmental Engineering Labs 3rd Year: Dissertation Supervision alongside Prof. Peter Cleall, Environmental Geotechnics, Civil Engineering Design, Summer Research Internships Supervision from the ERASMUS scheme. 
September 2019 – May 2020 Part-time Teaching Fellow at Cardiff University (School of Engineering) 
Working as a teaching fellow, delivering lectures and tutorial sessions for 4th year MEng civil engineering modules, as well as leading the environmental engineering labs for 1st year students. 

Jul 2016 - Sept 2016       Cardiff University Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CUROP) Recipient of the ‘Automated Compliance Checking of UK Building Regulations’ CUROP project.  Paper won the David Douglas Award and published on the South Wales Institute of Engineers  Website.   

Feb 2015 - Sept 2015   Research Assistant  INSPIRE Project, Geoenvironmental Research Centre (Cardiff)    
Responsibilities included research and modelling of municipal solid waste in landfills, production of bi-weekly reports and monthly progress presentations on my research.   

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

Invited seminar at the University of Southampton-Technische Universitat Delft (February 2021) 

OM3 – Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining. Young Persons’ Lecture Competition (Wales & South-West Region - at University of Bath, after shortlisting) (2018)

Speaking of Science Conference (2017)

School of Engineering, 9th Gregynog PGR Conference, Cardiff University (2017)

Institution of Civil Engineers' Emerging Engineers Award Competition (Wales) (2017)

Summer School Project, School of Environment, Tsinghua University (2017). 

South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust, David Douglas Award Competition (2017)

Pwyllgorau ac adolygu

Reviewer for:


3rd International Workshop on Environment and Geoscience

Journal for the Air and Waste Management Association






Experience in the following during my PhD:

1st Year: Structural Mechanics, Introductory Talk

2nd Year: Environmental Engineering Labs

3rd Year: Dissertation Supervision, Environmental Geotechnics, Civil Engineering Design

4th Year: River Modelling/Flood Design, Industrial Practice

RA for GCRF-funded CATALYST working on Circular eutrophication towards a resilient environment and sustainable economy for Global South.

In preparation:

Muaaz-Us-Salam, S., Cleall, P.J., Harbottle, M.J._Impact of Pore Structure & Fluid Flow on the Activity of Agrobacterium sp. for Enhanced Biogas Generation from Lignocellulosic Waste in Laboratory-Scale Landfills.


Geoenvironmental engineering, organic wastes and their biodegradation, lignocellulosic wastes and their enhanced biodegradation, fluid flow through wastes, microplastics in waste, landfills.