Water underpins our survival and our livelihoods. Cranfield’s research and training are shaping the solutions needed to deliver more resilient and sustainable water services and to protect the natural environment. No matter how you want to make a difference, our courses provide an opportunity for you to realise your potential.
“The Water and Wastewater Engineering MSc course has been challenging but also stimulating and exciting. The lectures are very interactive and engaging and oftentimes, there are even external presenters including Cranfield alumni, who deliver presentations on certain topics. I am delighted that we have been able to attend site visits of two wastewater treatment plants and to have laboratory practicals. I have thoroughly enjoyed these experiences because they have served to reinforce my understanding and appreciation of the topics presented in lectures.”
current student, Water, (Water and Wastewater Engineering MSc, 2022)
There has been over £12m investment in water science research facilities on our Cranfield campus in the past five years.
Over half of our Water learners come from outside the UK, representing 40 nationalities.
(Figures from July 2023)
Research in action
How UK water treatment has been transformed by research on ‘zeta potential’
Cranfield research looked at the removal of contaminants from water sources used for drinking.
The research work began with a need among five UK water companies (Severn Trent, Scottish Water, Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities) to find better ways to treat water sources containing higher levels of natural organic matter. Research looked at the charge-driven phenomena involved in the removal of contaminants from water sources used for drinking.
An online tool has enabled the water industry to rapidly identify the relationships between contaminant removal and residual charge and the root causes of treatment issues in drinking water production.
Measures based on Cranfield research have led to improved drinking water quality, a much-reduced need for chemicals and estimated annual savings of £3.6 million across the sector. The research has driven wholesale changes in the operation of coagulation and clarification processes which have been introduced by five of the biggest UK water companies since 2014, benefiting around 30% of the total UK water supply. In North America, two of the largest water treatment works have also integrated the new approaches founded on this research.
“I chose to apply for my PhD because it was connected to a European project (smart-plant.eu) and was international, it included traveling and I felt that this PhD was a good opportunity to study real practical solutions for challenges in the water sector. In particular, the campus has its own wastewater treatment plant and pilot facilities! I also really liked the international and connected to industry factors.”
Dr Samuela Guida,
Strategic Programmes Officer (IWA),
(Water, including Design PhD 2020)
£9.5 million invested in water treatment and resource recovery test facilities
As part of a major national initiative (the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities - UKCRIC), we have enhanced and extended existing on site water and wastewater test facilities, used by both masters' and research students. New scientific insights generated through these facilities regularly inform water sector investments both in the UK and overseas.
- new laboratories dedicated to the development of advanced sensors and point-of-use drinking water treatment devices,
- a breakthrough innovation hub to support design, rapid prototyping, and testing of new technologies,
- expansion of our pilot-scale test facilities to establish the National Research Facility for Water and Wastewater Treatment,
- 100 metre-long sewer loops for exploring the formation and control of fats, oils and greases (FOG) in sewers.
The new point-of-use laboratory in the George Solt building