Dr Andrew Swan, Reader

Dr Andrew Swan


Dr Swan is an academic and water engineer with a wide range of experience. He has worked in both industry and academia on domestic and international engineering projects, including a VSO placement at the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development, Zimbabwe, Africa.

Dr Swan has served as Principal Investigator (PI) on six research/enterprise projects with a combined value of £404,000. He has secured and managed EU FP7 funding for the University through the role of Principal Investigator (PI) on the AguaSocial project. This project facilitated a 5-partner research network with the Universita degli Studi Roma Tre (Italy), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), Universidade do Estado do Amazonas Fundao (Brazil) and the Universidade Federal do Para (Brazil). These links have subsequently attracted follow-up Erasmus+ funding. He also acted as PI on a collaborative Innovate UK funded project with Environmental Monitoring Solutions (www.em-solutions.co.uk).

From his research activities, he has established the WETS (Water, Enterprise, Technology and Society) research cluster. WETS is an interdisciplinary group of researchers drawn from across Leeds Beckett University with a common focus upon water issues within developing regions of the Global South. The cluster has undertaken research projects across Africa, Asia and South America.

Current Teaching

  • BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering:
    • Hydraulics and Water Engineering (Module leader)
    • Major Project (Module leader)
  • BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering:
    • Fluid Mechanics (Module leader)
    • Fluid Mechanics II (Module leader)
  • MSc in Civil Engineering:
    • Fluid Mechanics and Water Engineering (Module leader)

Research Interests

Dr Swan’s research activities focus upon some of the key water-related challenges and issues in developing regions of the Global South, including the operational unreliability of water infrastructure. For example, many communities are served by local water infrastructure that is poorly functioning, or has fallen into a state of disrepair; which can then force communities to use unprotected water sources, and increase their exposure to a range of water-related diseases. Another broad area of research interest relates to the opportunities and challenges associated with ‘off-grid’ communities (in terms of their access to mains water and/or electricity) in developing regions, but who live ‘on-grid’ in terms of their access to mobile phone networks. Two recent projects are highlighted below:

  • MANTIS - Appropriate telemetry project:
    Many rural communities are served by water pumps that are broken or deliver poor quality water. Conventional methods for both operational and quality monitoring require regular site visits to remote locations, which can be costly and time consuming. These factors may limit the amount of monitoring undertaken in the field. Telemetry- based monitoring techniques can help overcome some of these problems. Work is underway to develop low cost appropriate telemetry tools for monitoring both the post-construction performance and water quality of remote water points in developing regions. This research has generated the MANTIS (Monitoring and Analytics to Improve Service) system, which has been developed in conjunction with Environmental Monitoring Solutions Ltd (EMS), a Sheffield-based company who specialise in water, wastewater and emissions monitoring. The MANTIS system is specifically designed to fit the two most common designs that make up the majority of hand pumps installed worldwide, but is compatible with almost any hand pump. The MANTIS system has been successfully field-trialled in Gambia and Sierra Leone.
  • Sustainable Water and Power (SWAP) hub:
    Research has been undertaken in Gambia to assess the merits of a pilot study that combined an off-grid recharging hub with a community water point. The modus operandi of the SWAP hub arrangement involved local users paying a small fee to recharge portable smart-battery packs (which can then be taken home to power mobile-phones, lighting, etc.). These investigations explored whether it was feasible for a proportion of the income generated by this enterprise to be retained, and used to fund the on-going maintenance costs of the recharging hub and the local water infrastructure. This area of research is the focus of collaborative investigations between the University and Mobile Power Ltd (www.mobile-power.co.uk).
Dr Andrew Swan, Reader

Selected Outputs

  • Cardoso P; Swan AD; Mendes R (2017) Identification of factors affecting the implementation of solutions for the Sustainable Millennium and development challenges in the Amazon. Potable water and rainwater technology in Belem. In: 3rd International SEEDS Conference, 13 September 2017 - 14 September 2017, Leeds Beckett University.

  • Swan AD (2009) How to retrofit Sustainable Storm Water management. In: 10th Waternet Symposium on Integrated Water Resources management: Environmental Sustainability Climate Change and Livelihoods.

  • Walker L; Skipworth P; Logan I; Longbottom C; Swan AD (2017) MANTIS: Monitoring and Analytics to Improve Service, Final Report Global Co-operation Feasibility Study, co-funded by Innovate UK.

  • Swan AD (2015) Collaborative R&D activities towards a prototype of an adaptable low-cost monitoring tool for water projects in developing countries.

  • Kenny O; Logan I; Swan A; West J (2015) Field Notes From a Combined Solar Recharging Hub and Community Water Point In the Gambia: How Sustainable Technology can Improve Livelihoods in Per-Urban and Rural Gambia. In: 1st International SEEDS Conference, 17 September 2015 - 18 September 2015, Leeds. Leeds Sustainability Institute.


  • Swan AD; Mkandawire T; Harawa K; Akins M (2012) The development of Sustainable Appropriate Low Cost Telemetry for monitoring community water schemes. In: WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA symposium, 31 October 2012 - 2 November 2012, Johannesburg.

  • swan A; Cooper N (2011) Income generation opportunities at remote community water pumps that may contribute to the asset’s maintenance costs. In: Proc. of 12th WaterNet/WARFSA/GWP-SA symposium, 26 October 2011 - 28 October 2011, Maputo, Mozambique.