Professor Parneet Paul
Head of Subject
Professor Parneet Paul is a Chartered Engineer who has broad industrial and academic experience gained in the UK and overseas environments. He is a specialist water engineer experienced in project management and systems design up to Principal Engineer level. For the past fifteen years or so, Professor Paul has been an academic researcher at De Montfort, Brunel, Kingston, and East London Universities with a specialist interest in wastewater treatment system’s design and development.
Prior to joining academia, he carried out several civil engineering assignments in the South Pacific, Southern Africa, West Africa, and South East Asia with VSO, Skillshare International, Oxfam GB, Oxfam Australia, and PADCO AECOM (via USAID). He has also worked for UK engineering consultancy firms, namely Arups in Central London and Bullens (now part of AECOM Group) in North West England.
Professor Paul is a Trustee Board member of REDR UK (Registered Charity), and is a member of the Professional Standards Committee of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.
In his research, Professor Paul has been looking at the state-of-the-art in membrane bioreactor models for wastewater treatment for simulating the bio-chemical process conversions and biology of the biomass within the bioreactor; and for, also, modelling the membrane filtration process itself. He has modified the biological and fouling models so that an integrated model can be developed. Thus Professor Paul has developed and extended current theory, so that a combined approach can be used.
The highly innovative element in his research is the attempt to predict, model and control membrane flux rates via computer simulations for various changes to biomass characteristics that are themselves sensitive to operational changes; influent characteristic changes; and, differences in external environmental conditions. Simulation models that Professor Paul has produced minimise plant aeration and pumping energy by allowing modification and testing of control strategies based upon predicted changes in flux and influent character. It is expected that this combined model will be eventually used to predict operational performance of full scale wastewater treatment plant.
By using real plant and laboratory data to calibrate models, both configurations of membrane bioreactor are being modelled and simulated. Therefore this research involves visiting pilot and full scale municipal and industrial plant, and establishing levels of inorganic and organic fouling agents by using monitoring and sampling programmes. Professor Paul is also looking at the modelling of novel rotating member bioreactor plant as well.
Further, Professor Paul’s research career has been strongly influenced by his experiences of working in poor and deprived communities across the globe. Therefore, his areas of research also focus on creating innovative water and sanitation technologies for developing countries to allow greater social justice and social mobility for deprived communities, and fair access to services. Thus he is also researching into developing low-cost decentralised membrane septic tank technologies for peri-urban areas of mega-cities within emerging economies.