Environmental engineering

Climate change has resulted in more extreme weather events such as higher temperatures, longer droughts, more heavy rainfall, and stronger winds. Water affects the ground properties in particular its strength. At the same time, it is vital to reduce our impermeable surfaces and use more permeable surfaces while maintaining the structural integrity of the soil-surface infrastructure system. Fluctuations of soil temperature and the subsequent change in soil conditions could damage all kind of buried (e.g. pipeline networks, tunnels, foundations) and surface (e.g. roads, railway lines) infrastructure.

The University of Birmingham has a long track record of investigating the environmental sustainability of water/soil environments with particular focus on design and management of resilient stormwater and flood control systems, and sustainable nature-based solutions. Examples include design and optimisation of stormwater tanks source identification of urban stormwater pollution, pollution fate and transport modelling of road contaminants decision support framework for the optimum type, location, and size of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) planting vegetation for flood mitigation, nature-based coagulants for drinking water treatment, and investigating scour around foundation of offshore structures.

In order to assess the impact of climate change, NBIF has an Environment Control Chamber which can be used over parts of the large pit. It enables the study of long-term climate warming scenarios in a relatively short period of time. The system can achieve temperature differentials of between -5 and 40 C for soils. With addition of further instruments and sensors, we can control a range of additional environment factors including, but not limited to, rainfall, humidity, and solar radiation. This would make the chamber capable of studying various technologies including Green Infrastructure (GI), Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS), Ground heat Exchangers and Agronomy technology under different environmental conditions.


Sharifi, S., Massoudieh, A., & Kayhanian, M. (2011) A stochastic storm-water quality sizing method based on first flush characteristics. Journal of Water Environment Research, 83(11): 2025-2035. https://doi.org/10.2175/106143011X12989211

Sharifi, S. Haghshenas, M.M., Deksissa, T., Green, P., & Massoudieh, A. (2014) Stormwater Pollution Source Identification in Washington DC using Bayesian Chemical Mass Balance Modeling, Journal of Environmental Engineering, 140(3). https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0000809

Sharifi, S., Kayhanian, M., & Massoudieh, A. (2014) Fate and Transport Modeling of Urban Highway Contaminants by a Multi-Objective Evolutionary Method, ASCE, Urban Water Journal, 11(5): 379-391. https://doi.org/10.1080/1573062X.2013.790979

Almalki, A. S. (2020) A Decision Support System for Optimum Selection and Placement of Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) in Arid and Semi-Arid Region, PhD thesis, The University of Birmingham

Saadi H.A (2019) An Experimental Investigation of Boundary Shear Stress and Flow Structure in Compound Open Channels, PhD thesis, The University of Birmingham

Okoro, B. U., Sharifi, S., Jesson, M., Bridgeman, J., & Moruzzi, R. (2020). Characterisation and performance of three Kenaf coagulation products under different operating conditions. Water Research, 188, 116517. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116517

Bordbar, A., Sharifi, S. and Hemida, H., 2021. Investigation of the flow behaviour and local scour around single square-shaped cylinders at different positions in live-bed. Ocean Engineering, 238, p.109772. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2021.109772