Civil Engineering Research Facility (CERF)
Civil Engineering Research Facility (CERF)
Tom Craven - PhD: A novel water purification system to treat shallow wells in Malawi

Tom Craven is a centenary PhD student at Leeds Metropolitan University. Tom is previously qualified as a Civil Engineer and joined Leeds Metropolitan University after three years working for a design consultancy. Having gained experience in infrastructure engineering, Tom decided to return to university to complete a PhD.

"When I first contacted the University regarding the possibility of studying for a PhD I was taken back at how welcoming it was to prospective students. When deciding on my PhD topic I was encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by Dr Martin Pritchard for his research and his support has since been of the highest standard."

Upon joining the University Tom took the opportunity to broaden his horizons and became involved with the Malawi project. This was an interdisciplinary PhD which required Tom to learn about Microbiology with help from the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences. The project complements on-going research by Theresa Mkandawire aimed to develop the use of M. oleifera in water treatment by the creation of a full scale prototype water treatment plant that could be used to treat contaminated water from shallow wells in Malawi. This has been constructed and tested with the aid of laboratory technicians at the University's research facility at Unit 3.

During his course Tom made a research visit to Malawi in 2008 and presented at the 10th annual WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA symposium in Uganda. In 2008, Tom received an award for best student presentation at SfAM summer conference in Belfast. Tom's project is targeted to help meet challenges faced in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Malawi.