Professor David Butler has been awarded a £1.5 million research fellowship grant

£1.5 million grant could help develop more robust water systems

A University of Exeter expert has been awarded a five-year fellowship grant for a green engineering research aimed at developing a new approach to water management in UK cities.

Professor David Butler, Co-Director of the internationally-leading Centre for Water Systems and Professor of Water Engineering at the University of Exeter, has been awarded the grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Professor Butler said: “The water sector in the UK has, by many measures, been very successful up to now. However the sector is increasingly under threat as a result of climate change, increasing population, urbanisation, demographic shifts and tighter regulation.

“The fellowship is about understanding the key characteristics of sustainable and resilient water systems and then applying that understanding to develop and test new and improved ways to tackle problems associated with water scarcity, urban flooding and river pollution. The work will be carried out in conjunction with industry partners such as Severn Trent Water and government bodies such as the Environment Agency.”

EPSRC Fellowships are awarded to outstanding UK researchers who show a high level of creativity and ambition in their research ideas, and are able to take more established fields in new and innovative directions.

Professor Butler has 30 years experience in the water industry, and the project will draw from multi-disciplinary collaboration with leading academics inside and outside the field.

Professor Ken Evans, Dean of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, said: “We are very pleased to announce that David has received the appropriate recognition for his excellent research in the field of water management and the high international esteem in which he is held.”

Date: 21 December 2012