Julia’s first degree and MSc (conferred in St. Petersburg, in 1997 and 1998 respectively) are in Water Supply and Disposal. In the course of her studies she established collaboration with Eastern European countries concerning the protection of the Baltic Sea from urban contaminations. Her PhD (Loughborough University, 2011) was mainly focused on establishing the physical and chemical characteristics of stormwater from various runoff sources. The output of her work related to the role of solid behaviour and that of other pollutants in the catchment and how this would affect the metals’ mobility and speciation. The second aspect of her research interests was in the field of wastewater treatment from urban pollution using a combination of treatment mechanisms, namely gravity, adsorption and mechanical filtration. She also sought to gain an understanding of the elements’ behaviour and their mobility in an aquatic environment.
Julia’s experience at Loughborough University while working on the project ‘Re-invent the Toilet’ (Gates foundation, 2011 – 2014) enabled her to expand her knowledge of the use of a novel and cheap filtration material (biochar). Biochar can be obtained from biomass conversion using HTC, which involves the application of moderate temperature (100 – 350°C) and pressures.
Julia’s research falls within the broad topic of stormwater management and covers two principal areas, that is the environmental protection of the catchment and water engineering. The environmental protection part has been focused on analysing the potential hazard and risk to natural water from metals in urban runoff. The water engineering part is aimed at gaining a better understanding of the reactive barriers which prevent the metals from entering the environment, as well as understanding and enhancing the treatment of runoff.
Julia is particularly interested in building on the foundations of her PhD to further develop models and tools concerning urban water pollution to both identify and measure the hazard of metal release for the urban environment as well as finding ways to mitigate it by applying novel and cheap filtration materials.