Hywel Thomas

Hywel Thomas

Professor

School of Engineering

Email:
thomashr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4965
Location:
S1.36

Hywel Rhys Thomas graduated from University College Swansea  with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering and after completing an MSc in Soil Mechanics at Imperial College, spent 4½ years with consulting engineers Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners, leading to Chartered Engineer status (MICE). He then returned to Swansea to read for a PhD, before taking up a post as an academic member of staff at Cardiff. He was awarded a Personal Chair by the University of Wales.

Research interests

Prof Thomas’ early research interests centred on the development of an improved understanding of the engineering behaviour of unsaturated soil. Attention was focused on constitutive models that described the complex thermo/hydro/mechanical response of such materials. In recognition of the advances made in this area, he was awarded a higher Doctorate of the University of Wales, a DSc.

In response to a need to provide research support in an emerging area of importance, he subsequently expanded his research interests and established the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC). The discipline combines traditional geotechnical engineering with environmental engineering considerations, to address a range of problems such as contaminated land, waste disposal, ground water pollution etc. Professor Thomas’ research interests now cover a wide range of geoenvironmental issues, from coupled multiphysics/geochemistry flow problems in soils and rocks, to waste disposal and land regeneration through to sustainability issues in general. A major focus of his work is the geological disposal of high level nuclear waste. Current interests also include the geoenergy field, with major projects on ground source heat, underground coal gasification, exploitation of unconventional gas and carbon sequestration in coal seams.

During the course of his academic career, he has: * Produced some 427 publications. * Supervised over 80 research assistants and students. * Attracted research funding of approximately £30M. * Organised and lectured on numerous short courses and conferences. * Served on over 30 international conference organising committees. * Presented almost 90 invited lectures in 21 countries, including 24 keynote/feature/theme/named lectures. He currently works extensively with the UN agencies, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNESCO and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). In relation to UNIDO, he works on programmes of research related to the clean up of POPS (Persistent Organic Pollutants), focussing in particular on West Africa. In relation to UNESCO, he is a UNESCO Professor in the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment, pursuing a programme of interdisciplinary research, combining geoenvironmental engineering with health and social science. The geographical focus of the work is India. In relation to the IAEA he is a member of the Agency’s worldwide network on the “Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear Waste” and currently acts as Chair of the network.

In all these programmes capacity building is of paramount importance. Professor Thomas is also actively involved in considerable “Knowledge Transfer” work, particularly locally in Wales. He has worked on numerous programmes where a key deliverable is the support of local SMEs. Creation of new companies has also been a significant target. Professor Thomas’ academic achievements have been recognised by election as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), a Member of Academia Europaea , the Academy of Europe (MAE) and a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (FLSW).

Roles and responsibilities

Professor Thomas is also Pro Vice-Chancellor, International and Engagement at Cardiff University. In this role he is responsible for the University’s international activities, partnerships and reputation, together with the University’s engagement within Wales. Prior to this appointment he was the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for “Innovation and Engagement” and Internationalisation( 2010 to 2012.) In this role he established the University’s strategy in the above areas. He was also the “Link PVC” to the Physical Sciences and Engineering Schools within the University, charged with advising the Vice-Chancellor on their strategic development. Prior to that role Professor Thomas was the Director of the School of Engineering, one of the University’s largest Schools, (2002 to 2010)  and  Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Innovation and Engagement  (2007 to 2010).

Honours and awards


* Appointed: Fellow of the Royal Society, 2012 * Elected: Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, 2003 * Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales * Delivered: 15 keynote and invited lectures at international conferences (e.g. 11th Int. Assoc. of Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, Italy, 2005) * Editorial Board Member: Geotechnique,2001, Int. J. of Geomechanics, International J. for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics * Member: EPSRC Technical Opportunities Panel (TOP), 2006-date * Member: RAEng Standing Committee for Research and Secondment and Lead Assessor for Civil Engineering, 2005-date, and Standing Committee for International Activities 2007-date * Reviewer: Research Quality Framework (RAE-equivalent) at Monash University, 2006 * Member and Chair Elect: UN International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Committee “Building Confidence in Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear Waste”, 2001-date * Guest Editor: Geotechnique Symposium in Print, 2003, Special Issue of Engineering Geology on Geoenvironmental Engineering, 2001 and  2003 * Consultant: International Atomic Energy Agency.

Contracts

TitlePeopleSponsorValueDuration
Low-Carb-Cymru: Assessing, characterising and enhancing geologic carbon storage and geothermal energy in WalesSedighi M, Thomas HR, Tripathy SSer Cymru NRN Bangor28400001/01/2015 - 31/12/2018
Feasibility of dedicated unit to develop environmental and social responsibility (ESR) tools within geoenvironmental and waste sectors in WalesKoj A, Thomas HRNational Assembly for Wales (KEF)1990301/01/2009 - 30/04/2009
Decision information support systems for POPs (GUDISS)Koj A, Thomas HRUnited Nations Industrial Development Organization1290705/07/2007 - 31/12/2007
Identification and simulation of arsenic release to groundwater in BangladeshProf RN Yong, Prof HR ThomasEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 12311901/04/2001 - 31/03/2004
Coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical -chemical processes for application in repository safety assessment - THERESAProf HR ThomasCommission of European Communities7786001/01/2007 - 31/12/2010
Hydraulic conductivity of expansive clays from micro-structural and physico-chemical considerationsProf HR ThomasBritish Council270001/07/2007 - 01/07/2009
Geoenvironmental engineering infrastructure co-operation networkProf HR ThomasCommission of European Communities 3517401/01/2001 - 31/12/2004
Wales Waste and Resources Research CentreProf HR ThomasNational Assembly for Wales (WAG)56038801/11/2006 - 31/03/2009
A geoenvironmental research and legislative development information exchange on land and marine environmental sustainability and industrial waste managementProf HR ThomasThe Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation 250001/10/2001 - 01/04/2003
Evaluation of Sustainable Development Toolkit - REVITProf HR ThomasTorfaen Count Borough Council500021/11/2006 - 20/02/2007
Regeneration of European sites in cities and urban environments (RESCUE)Prof HR ThomasCommission of European Communities 15819601/03/2002 - 28/02/2005
Cardiff distributed visualisation facilityProf HR Thomas, (with COMSC & PHYSX)Education and Learning Wales 40000001/03/2001 - 01/03/2004
Sustainable groundwater management in rural India - Geoenvironmental/Health/Social aspectsProf HR Thomas, (with University of Surrey)Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 1237629/04/2005 - 28/04/2006
Modelling pre-failure shear strain (solifluction) in freezing and thawing soil slopesProf HR Thomas, Dr PJ Cleal,l (with EARTH)Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 19270501/05/2005 - 30/04/2008
3D virtual reality platform for data analysis of large scale simulation for geoenvironmental problemsProf HR Thomas, Dr PJ CleallEducation and Learning Wales 18654801/12/2001 - 31/07/2002
Geoenvironmental Research ParkProf HR Thomas, Dr RW FrancisThe National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund)250671401/10/2001 - 01/10/2004
Sustainable materials recoveryProf HR Thomas, Dr RW Francis, Dr T MahdiWelsh Development Agency 14812301/01/2005 - 31/03/2006
Fibre reinforced soil trialsProf HR Thomas, Dr T MahdiTRL Limited Wales Office 769801/02/2005 - 30/04/2005
Implementing sustainable E&T programmes in the field of Radioactive Waste DisposalThomas HEuropean Commission (FP7)5740001/09/2013 - 31/08/2016
Thermal inverse modelling and olkiluoto monitoring programmeThomas H, Sedighi MPosiva3461015/01/2014 - 30/06/2014
PETRUS II - Towards a European Training Market and Professional Qualification in Geological DisposalThomas HREuropean Commission (FP7)5093215/01/2009 - 14/01/2012
Socio-economic aspects of POPs contaminated sitesThomas HRUnited Nations Industrial Devopment Organization 517811/10/2005 - 11/10/2006
Contaminated land remediation technologiesThomas HRUnited Nations Industrial Development Organization1649101/03/2009 - 30/06/2009
Multiphase computer modelling of near field environment around an underground geological repositoryThomas HROve Arup & Partners Ltd3550001/02/2009 - 01/02/2012
Centre of excellence for waste research in WalesThomas HRE B Nationwide Ltd 58745301/03/2003 - 28/02/2006
Regional project to develop appropriate strategies for identifying sites contaminated by chemicals listed in annexes A, B and/or C of the Stockholm conventionThomas HRUnited Nations Industrial Devopment Organization 3990007/11/2005 - 06/03/2006
Co-ordination action on education and training in radiation protection and radioactive waste management [CETRAD]Thomas HR, Cleall PJCommission of European Communities 5039401/01/2004 - 31/12/2005
A land regeneration, industrial waste management and sustainable development networkThomas HR, Cleall PJ, Owen DHThe National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund)23577901/11/2002 - 31/10/2005
SUE: Pollutants in the urban environment (PUrE)- scoping studyThomas HR, Cleall PJ, (with University of Surrey)Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 1849701/01/2004 - 30/09/2004
A land regeneration, Industrial management and sustainable development networkThomas HR, Cleall PJ, Owen DHThe National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund)6641214/10/2002 - 13/10/2004
Capacity BuildingThomas HR, Francis RWUnited Nations Industrial Development Organization1540501/03/2009 - 01/07/2009
Geoenvironmental research park Phase 2Thomas HR, Mahdi T, Francis RWVarious Industry 260374631/03/2006 - 30/06/2008
Geoenvironmental research park Phase 2Thomas HR, Mahdi T, Francis RWVarious Institutions 7684731/03/2006 - 30/06/2008
SERENThomas HR, Williams KP, Sapsford D, Tripathy S, Griffiths AJWelsh European Funding Office, British Geological Survey557661901/03/2010 - 30/06/2015
A centre for the development of advanced descision support tools in the environment fieldThomas HR, Yi LNational Assembly for Wales (WAG)1988901/09/2008 - 31/12/2008
Land regeneration networkThomas HR, Cleall PJWelsh Development Agency 2000001/11/2005 - 01/04/2006
NF-PRO thermo-hyrdo-mechanical (geochemical) processes in the EBS (RTD3)Thomas HR, Cleall PJNirex Ltd 2680001/06/2004 - 31/12/2007
Pollutants in the urban environments (PURE)Thomas HR, Cleall PJ, (with University of Surrey)Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 29513101/04/2005 - 31/03/2009
Contribution of DFIG based wind turbines to system voltage supportThomas HR, Ekanayake JAssociation of Commonwealth Universities143015/09/2008 - 14/12/2008
Geoenvironmental research park Phase 2Thomas HR, Mahdi T, Francis RWThe National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund)297940631/03/2006 - 30/06/2008
Thermal evolution monitoring in OikiluotoThomas HR, Sedighi MPosiva2916415/04/2013 - 31/12/2013
Institute for Compound SemiconductorsThomas HR, Tasker P, Griffin M, Smowton P, Buckle P (PHYSX),Welsh Government600000001/04/2015 - 31/03/2018
A land regeneration, industrial waste management and sustainable development networkThomas HR, Cleall PJ, Owen DHThe National Assembly for Wales (European Regional Development Fund)15616414/10/2002 - 13/10/2004
Engineered barrier systems: An integrated approachThomas HR, Tripathy S, Vardon PFec methodology by EPSRC via Strathclyde13623301/04/2012 - 31/03/2016
Large Scale data visualisation, event identification and numberical simulation for gasThomas HR, Vardon PNERC/BGS5905904/01/2010 - 31/12/2013
Landfill gas modellingCleall PJ, Thomas HRPersimmon Homes (West Midlands) Ltd 1895001/05/2003 - 01/05/2006
Understanding and physical and numerical modelling of the key processes in the near-field, and their coupling, for different host rocks and repository strategies (NF-PRO)Cleall PJ, Thomas HRCommission of European Communities 16080001/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

Supervised Students

TitleStudentStatusDegree
A STUDY OF THE TRANSPORT OF A SELECTION OF HEAVY METALS IN UNSATURAED SOILHASHM Ahlim AhmedGraduatePhD
An Investigation Of The Behaviour Of The Ground In Response To Energy ExtractionHEPBURN BenjaminGraduatePhD
An Investigation of the Thermo/Hydro/Mechanical Behaviour of Large Scale Experiments including Parametric Studies on VarTEY Chun YeanGraduatePhD
Experimental Study On The Hydraulic Conductivity Of Compacted Bentonites In Geoenvironmental ApplicationsBENNETT ClaireGraduatePhD
Decision Support System for Brownfield Site Sustainabvle RegeneragtionPELLEGRINO CristinaGraduateMPhil
Exploratory Data Analysis Of The Large Scale Gas Injection Test (LASGIT)BENNETT DanielGraduatePhD
Arsenic Mobility in Sediments and Contamination of the Begal BasinSHAW DarrenGraduatePhD
An Assessment of the Possibility of Stabilising Sabkha Soils Using Oil Lakes Residue - Reuse of Waste MaterialsAL-OTAIBI FahadGraduatePhD
A Study of the Thermo/Hydro/Mechanical Behaviour of Two Large Scale In-Situ ExperimentsMITCHELL Heather PatriciaGraduatePhD
Critical Evaluation of some suction measurement techniquesELGABU HeshamGraduatePhD
CARBON DIOXIDE ADSORPTION/DESORPTION AND PERMEABILITY CHARACTERISTICS IN COAL AND ROCKS AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDYFELIX Joao Filipe RuivoCurrentPhD
An Investigation into the Use of Chicken Manure to Enhance the Biodegradation of Total Petroleum HydrocarbonsBRICE KathrynGraduatePhD
Effect Of Gypsum On The Hyrdo-Mechanical Characteristics Of Partially Saturated Sandy SoilAHMED Khalid IbrahimGraduatePhD
A Decision Support System for the Environmental Impact of e-businessYI LanGraduatePhD
Reactive Transport Modelling Of High Pressure Gas Flow In CoalHOSKING Lee JamesGraduatePhD
An Investigation of Hydro-Geotechnical processes in Coupled Thermal, Hydraulic, Chemical and Mechanical Behaviour of Unsaturated SoilsSEDIGHI MajidGraduatePhD
Modelling the Freezing and Thawing Behaviour of Saturated SoilGLENDINNING Mark CharlesGraduatePhD
Soil-Water Characteristic Curves And Shrinkage Behaviour Of Highly Plastic Clays: An Experimental InvesitigationMOHD TADZA Mohd YuhyiGraduatePhD
AN EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF FLOW AND REACTION PORCESSES DURING GAS STORAGE AND DISPLACEMENT IN COALHADI MOSLEH MojganGraduatePhD
An integrated, multicriteria, spatial decision support system, incorporating environmental, social and public health presepectives, for use in geoenergy and geoenvironmental applicationsIRFAN MuhammadGraduatePhD
An Investigation of the Consolidation Behaviour of Steel Works SludgeDAUD Nik Norsyahariati NikGraduatePhD
Aspects of the Geological Disposal of High Level Nuclear WasteSTRATOS PanagiotisCurrentPhD
Enhancing groundwater remediation techniques through microbiological control of fluid flowALSHIBLAWI ParisThesis SubmittedPhD
AN INVESTIGATION OF THE THERMO/HYDRAULIC/MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR OF UNSATURATED SOILS, INCLUDING EXPANSIVE CLAYSCLEALL Peter JohnGraduatePhD
A Three-Dimensional Numerical Investigation of the Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Behaviour Of A Large Scale Prototype RepositoryVARDON PhilipGraduatePhD
CoupledThermo-Hydro-Mechanical-Chemical Behaviour of MX80 Bentonite In Geotechnical ApplicationsBAG RamakrishnaGraduatePhD
An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Heat and Mass Movement in Unsaturated ClaysSINGH Rao MartandGraduatePhD
An investigation of reactive high pressure gas transport in coalZAGORSCAK RenatoCurrentPhD
Modelling of Reactive Gas Transport in Unsaturated Soil - A Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical ApproachMASUM Shakil AlGraduatePhD
An Investigation of the Influence of Elevated Temperatures on the Thermal-Hydraulic-Mechanical Response of Unsaturated SoilsSIDDIQUA SumiGraduatePhD
An Investigation of the Thermo/hydro/chemical/mechanical Behaviour of Unsaturated SoilsSEETHARAM Suresh ChannarayapatnaGraduatePhD
An Investigation of the Three-dimensional Thermo/hydro/mechanical Behaviour of Large Scale in-situ ExperimentsMELHUISH Troy AlexanderGraduatePhD
Enhanced Natural Attenuation of Organic Chemical Contaminants in GroundwaterAMBER Wayne RichardGraduatePhD
An Experimental Investigation Of Landfill Leachate Impact On Surrounding SoilMILAD Ziad AbdelsalamGraduatePhD

Areas of expertise