Food, Water, Waste Research Group

 Alumni PhD Students 



Edward Acheampong

PhD title: Modelling Bioactive Compounds Removal from Wastewater Treatment Systems, Using Systems of Differential Equations for Prediction, Inference and Uncertainty Quantification

Supervisors:  Prof. Rachel GomesProf Ian Dryden, Dr Jamie Twycross and Dr Jonathan Wattis

 Maria Beard

Maria Beard

Lecturer in Children’s and Young Peoples Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham 

Supervisors:  Dr Mike Clifford and Dr Michael C Watson

Personal Biography

Maria graduated as a Children’s Nurse from the University of Nottingham in 2010 with a Masters in Nursing Science. After graduating she started work as a Staff Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust where she continues to hold a post in the Children’s Emergency Department.

While working as a staff nurse Maria carried out voluntary work in Malawi where she provided first aid training to community health workers. During this time Maria maintained close links with the university’s School of Health Sciences, and supported nursing students to plan and undertake short elective placements in Northern Malawi. To support this work Maria was awarded funding from the British Medical Association Humanitarian Fund.

In 2018 Maria completed her PhD entitled “An exploration of the factors associated with paediatric burn injuries in rural and peri-urban Malawi”. The study employed a qualitative approach to uncover parental, health professional and key stakeholder perceptions of burn injury risks and their prevention across four Malawian communities. The PhD offered a unique collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and School of Health Sciences.

Throughout her PhD Maria has been invited to share her research findings at international conferences and workshops held in Finland, Malawi and Ethiopia. More recently Maria was invited to participate in the development of a Basic Burns Care training programme for primary-level health care workers in resource limited settings by Interburns and the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy and Research (CGBIPR).

Post-PhD Maria worked as a research assistant on the Smart Biogas Network project, funded by Innovate UK. This project, which involved a collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the UK charity CREATIVenergy, aimed to promote the use of biogas in developing countries by connecting plant owners with local technicians to provide advice and facilitate repairs. As part of this project Maria conducted qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and end-users to identify key issues associated with the up-take of biogas in Arusha, Tanzania.

In May 2018 Maria became a Lecturer in Children’s and Young Peoples Nursing at the University of Nottingham. As part of this role Maria supports students and delivers teaching on the pre-and post-registration nursing programmes.  

Yao-Martin Donani

Yao-Martin Donani

Lecturer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Wa Polytechnic, Ghana

Supervisors:  Dr Mike Clifford and  Dr Sujatha Raman

Personal Biography

Africa is certainly not poor, yet it remains the poorest continent in the world’. I have been seeking means by which to contribute, in whatever way, to reverse the narrative. The low level of technology application was viewed as a major factor needing attention. I therefore considered doing a PhD as a possible option. I am grateful to God I met such great personalities as my supervisors who were willing and very able to guide me through this seemingly impossible task. I gained admission into the University in September 2010 and completed in December, 2014. While at the University of Nottingham, I researched into developing a framework for sustainable manufacturing of technologies for Africa, focusing on Ghana. My emphasis was on getting a framework that would address the technological needs of local producers, towards eventual industrialisation of the Ghanaian economy. There was a great sense of accomplishment in the project when a promising framework was developed and a Model for technology creation was constructed.

On completion of my studies, returned to Ghana in January 2015, and have been in dialogue with my employers and Ghana Government through its ministries, to receive a hearing on the framework developed and the Model for possible adoption and implementation. The politics in Ghana is dense, thus, prolonging the dialogue to date.

I continue to work as a lecturer, now at Wa Polytechnic, Ghana, in the Mechanical Engineering Department. My research interest area still focuses on the subject of technology for local enterprises is still on going as my small contribution towards bridging the technology gap in Africa, possibly, starting from Ghana.

Oliver Fisher - cropped

Oliver Fisher

Intelligent Resource Use in Process Manufacturing

Supervisors: Prof. Rachel Gomes and Dr Nicholas Watson



Andrea Lorena Garduño Jiménez

PhD title: Analysis and remediation of emerging pollutants in wastewater and reuse for irrigation: addressing country specific issues in Mexico and the UK.

Supervisors: Prof. Rachel Gomes, Prof. David Barrett, Dr. Catherine Ortori

Personal Biography
I completed my BEng  and PhD in Environmental Engineering at The University of Nottingham. I am very interested in waste valorisation, in particular wastewater reuse for irrigation. Currently I am focusing on irrigation practices in Mexico and the UK and working collaboratively between both countries.
Temilade Sesan

Temilade Sesan

Research Associate of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)

Supervisors:  Dr Mike Clifford and Dr Sujatha Raman

Personal Biography

Temilade's PhD, titled 'What's Cooking? Participatory and Market Approaches to Stove Development in Nigeria and Kenya,' investigated the social and cultural barriers to the uptake of fuel-efficient cookstoves within poor communities in the study countries. Drawing on the principles of appropriate technology development, the research focused on understanding characteristics of local contexts that shape people's choices of cooking technologies; characteristics which are often different from those envisioned by external promoters of those technologies. The project was supervised by a multidisciplinary team from the faculties of social sciences and engineering, including Dr Mike Clifford at the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering.

Post-PhD, Temilade has collaborated with University of Nottingham faculty on several cookstove-related research projects, most notably an EPSRC-funded project from 2013 - 2016 led by Dr Mike Clifford, and an ESRC-funded project from 2016 - 2017 led by Dr Sujatha Raman at the School of Sociology and Social Policy. Temilade returned to UoN briefly in 2015 to take up a British Council-funded Newton fellowship based at the Faculty of Engineering. The three-month fellowship period was spent building on existing research projects and developing new ones with colleagues at the university. She has engaged in this and other collaborative research work in her capacity as a lecturer at the Centre for Petroleum, Energy Economics and Law, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 

Temilade is currently a research associate of the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA), a body that works to foster communication across the academic / scientific and policymaking domains. Her work on the INGSA platform is opening up opportunities for future engagement with science, technology and innovation policy in Nigeria and Africa.

Darshil Shah

Darshil U. Shah

Research Associate at Cambridge University's Department of Architecture

Supervisors:  Dr Mike Clifford, Dr Peter Schubel and Prof Peter Licence

Personal Biography

Upon graduating with a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham in 2009, Darshil went on to complete his PhD in the Polymer Composites Research Group in 2013. Darshil’s PhD focussed on developing plant fibre biocomposites as sustainable and structural alternatives to traditional glass fibre composites for wind turbine applications.

From 2013 to 2014, Darshil was a research scientist at Oxford University’s Silk Group, where he investigated animal silk-based polymer composites for high-toughness components; working in the zoology department also enabled him to study various other natural materials (such as elephant ivory) from a materials science as well as a biological/evolutionary perspective.

Since Jan 2015, Darshil has been a Research Associate at Cambridge University’s Dept. of Architecture, developing innovative wood and bamboo composites for the construction of sustainable skyscrapers. He also teaches materials science and engineering to undergraduates at the Dept. of Engineering and Dept. of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. Darshil intends to continue research and teaching in academia, focussing on natural and nature-inspired polymer and composite materials and structures.

Dr. Subarna Sivapalan 150x120

Subarna Sivapalan

Head of the Centre for Social Transformation for Sustainable Lifestyles at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.

Supervisor:   Dr Mike Clifford

Personal Biography

Dr Subarna Sivapalan, a University of Nottingham PhD graduate, is presently attached to Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia where she heads the Centre for Social Transformation for Sustainable Lifestyles. Subarna’s areas of expertise and interests are in Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainability Communication, Environmental Humanities, Engineering Education for Sustainable Development and Community Education for Sustainable Development.

Subarna was a University of Nottingham MIDAS Scholar. This gave her the opportunity to work jointly with the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering in the United Kingdom and School of Education in the Malaysia Campus during the course of her PhD. Subarna’s PhD work, titled Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) for Undergraduate Engineering Programmes in Malaysia: A Stakeholder Defined Framework focused on the development of a whole institution framework that can be used by institutions of higher learning to assess or integrate sustainable development.

While working on her PhD, Subarna was also part of the team that facilitated the University of Nottingham’s first MOOC, Sustainability, Society and You, and NOOC, Perspectives on Sustainability, which was offered across the University of Nottingham’s UK, Malaysia and China campuses. These modules were convened by Professor Dr Sarah Speight and tutored by Assoc Prof Dr Mike Clifford, and were very successful.

In addition to her scholarly endeavours, Subarna has been much involved in environmental advocacy work with WWF Malaysia. She is Chair of the National Foundation for Environmental Education Eco-Campus Committee and Co-Chair of the National Education for Sustainable Development Work Group. Her advocacy work has seen her lead many successful sustainability focused capacity building initiatives with urban and rural communities in Malaysia within the context of rural electrification, rural sanitation, sustainable lifestyles, ecomobility, youth empowerment for sustainable consumption and production, sustainable farming, sustainable seafood and community recycling initiatives, with a special focus on the Indigenous community of Malaysia. Subarna, along with her collaborators, has collectively raised close to £31,000 for these initiatives.  

Subarna is the recipient of the Eco-Lecturer National Award and sees a future in working collaboratively with organizations, institutions and communities to advocate the need for sustainable living, in tandem with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In giving back to the University of Nottingham, Subarna would be happy to connect with like-minded Nottingham alumni and students to work on international sustainability projects and programmes.


Food, Water, Waste Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 82 32502