Hydro-environmental Research Centre
Water engineering and management, from tidal stream energy to preventing flood damage.
From the dangers of flooding to renewable energy potential, the environmental management of water presents unique opportunities and challenges to engineers. The Hydro-environmental Research Centre was established in 1997 with the aim of pursuing research into the development and application of computer models for investigating flow, water quality, sediment and contaminant transport processes, in coastal waters, estuaries and river basins.
The Centre is also at the cutting-edge of tidal stream energy research, designing turbines to exploit the potential of tidal streams such as the Severn Estuary to provide clean and reliable renewable energy.
The prime aim of the Centre is to pursue research into the development, refinement and application of hydro-environmental computational models for predicting flow, water quality, sediment and contaminant transport processes in coastal waters, estuaries and river basins, with the main objectives of the Centre being summarised as follows:
- To develop computational models to predict flow, solutes (including pollutants) and sediment transport processes in coastal, estuarine and river waters;
- To undertake laboratory model studies and field monitoring programmes to improve on the accuracy of computational models;
To apply, calibrate and verify computational models against field data and develop interfaces and output devices for wider interpretation of the model results.
The Centre has an international reputation in environmental water management, with collaborative studies being undertaken with institutions in 19 countries, as well as other UK universities, CH2M Hill., Arup, HR Wallingford, Environment Agency, Scottish Water, APB MER, Cardiff Harbour Authority and several SMEs in the region.
Research activities involve the following main areas:
- Computational hydraulics modelling
- Hydraulic laboratory modelling studies
- Coastal and estuarine hydrodynamics and water quality
- Flood modelling of river basin systems
- Eco-hydraulics and vegetation impact, including wetlands and mangroves
- Surface and groundwater interactions
- Sediment transport and geomorphological modelling
- Water quality and contaminant process modelling
- Disinfection and wastewater treatment process modelling
- Tidal stream turbine design and operation
- Turbulence measurement and modelling
Numerical methods and solution procedures
The research topics currently being undertaken within the Centre are funded by EPSRC, NGOs, Government departments and industry. A selection of currently active projects include:
- Cloud to Coast (C2C) Modelling - funded by NERC
- Marine Renewable Energies (MAREN) - funded by EU (ERDF)
- Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) - funded by EU (ERDF) - see also recent Poster
- Climate Change Consortium for Wales (C3W) - funded by WAG
- PhD projects:
- Numerical Modelling of Hydrodynamic, Solute and Sediment Parameter Fluxes through Turbines in Barrage and Lagoon Structures, and Tidal Stream Arrays
- Developing Novel Techniques for Corrosion Resistant Coated Steel in Rotating Environment to Produce Hydro Power
- CFD and Laboratory Model Studies for Optimal Chlorine Contact Tank Performance
- Modelling of Flood Flows through Hydraulic Structures and Interactions with Sediments
- Potential of Non-Traditional Water Usage in Eco-Cities - Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City as a Case Study
- Development of an Integrated Hydro-environmental Model for Predicting Dynamic Bacterial Fluxes from Catchment to Coast
- Assessing the Impact of Fouling Processes on the Hydraulic Efficiency of Pipelines
Other recent studies:
Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research
- +44 (0)29 2087 4282
The Centre has a large, well equipped hydraulics laboratory, including: a large tidal basin, 2 recirculating flumes (1.2m wide and 0.3m wide), a large tidal flume (1.2m wide, 1.0m deep, bidirectional flow capacity of up to 1 cumec) and a model disinfection tank. The flumes and basins can accommodate a wide range of hydraulic model experiments, as can be seen from the list of research projects undertaken to date. Sophisticated measuring equipment include: a number of Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (up to 200Hz of sampling frequency), 2 digital fluorometers, a bed profiler, an automated multi-probe water level monitoring system and access to a Laser Doppler Anemometer. The Centre staff also work closely with other research groups and government departments and industry, across Wales and internationally, in acquiring field data.