For over 40 years, the Urban Pollution Research Centre has undertaken
pioneering work in understanding the sources, behaviour and fate of urban
diffuse pollution and its mitigation using sustainable urban drainage
systems (SUDS). Relevant impacts claimed here include the adoption of SUDS
into UK practice and legislation, the role of SUDS as key components in
achieving EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) requirements and the
embedding of our research within national best practice guidelines. In
response to recent policy drivers, we are collaborating with Arup to
commercialise SUDSloc and are informing policy developments in the fields
of diffuse pollution mitigation and urban ecosystem services.
Research undertaken by Professor Phil Jordan on nutrient pollution from
land to waters has led to significant changes in government policy and in
expectations for Water Framework Directive (WFD) and Waste Directive (WD)
compliance in Ireland. The WFD is European wide legislation requiring that
all water-bodies should be of at least good ecological status by 2015. His
research has provided unequivocal scientific evidence that bio-physical
lag times preclude the achievement of WFD water quality targets from
diffuse source pollution by 2015. This has led to targets for good water
quality in all River Basin Management Plans being extended without threat
of European fines. Further, inclusion of Jordan's research on the specific
environmental risk of rural point source pollution in assessments of
septic tank system risk has resulted in the overturning of a European
Court ruling under the Waste Directive, and the consequent lifting of
daily fines of €19,000.
Two books and review/research articles in Italian have disseminated the
findings from the underpinning research on creating false autobiographical
memories and the dangers of inadequate interviewing techniques. This work
has critically increased awareness in the Italian legal system amongst
both barristers and judges, to the point of shaping the practice of
interviewing witnesses in that country. It has also informed all verdicts
on child sexual abuse by the Supreme Court of Cassation.
In 2008-2009 the UK was subject to legal infraction proceedings at the
European Court of Justice
(ECJ) for allegedly failing to implement the European Union's Urban
Directive (UWWTD). Research by the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal
Studies, Hull (IECS) for
the Environment Agency (EA)/Defra provided evidence to the UK Government
for its defence
against these allegations. The research consisted of:
- literature/data reviews and collection and analysis of critical
evidence from the Humber.
- co-ordinating workshops and convening an expert panel of sufficient
opinion to counteract the European Court of Justice allegations.
In December 2009 the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of the UK.
Our research therefore
helped to save very significant, unnecessary capital investment in
nutrient removal technology for
sewage treatment nationally and in the Yorkshire and Humber region
especially. The UK
government thus avoided the possibility of major European Commission fines
of up to €703,000
per day, or €256m per annum, for infraction of the Urban Water-water
Treatment Directive .
Work by University of Stirling staff has contributed directly to improved
wildlife resource management in the Central African region. Innovative
research into the status and trends of key wildlife populations,
ecological impacts, resource harvests and trade, drivers of resource use
and assessing management success have contributed directly to new thinking
on the issue, revisions of laws and policy and to success in attracting
foreign aid for management issues. Stirling staff members now advise the
Government of Gabon on resource management policies, National Park
management and biodiversity issues.
Research on the environmental safety and toxicity of nanomaterials in fishes has had a global
impact across both government and industry contributing to:
(i) Consensus building on biological effects allowing regulatory agencies/governments to
make proper decisions on the hazard of nanomaterials to farmed fish and wildlife.
(ii) Critical evaluation of the internationally agreed process of toxicity testing to determine
whether the current legislative test methods are fit for purpose and acceptable to the
(iii) Identification of national/international research priorities and policies via work with the
OECD and the US Government.
(iv) Influencing government policy to support training and information for industry.
Professor Hani Hagras' research into type-2 Fuzzy Logic Controllers
(FLCs) underpins novel control systems which avoid the drawbacks and
shortcomings of the type-1 FLCs used in numerous real world applications.
Type-2 FLCs, developed at Essex, enable challenging applications to be
realised and managed with better accuracy and robustness. Such
The Fault Dynamics Research Group (FDRG) have designed and executed
analogue experiments to replicate the 3D/4D geometry of oil and gas
exploration targets. The main beneficiaries are the international
petroleum industry. The research is "pivotal to British Petroleum's
subsurface developments" (R. Humphries BP 2012) in determining the
number of multi-million pound wells required to access reserves. FDRG
models "changed the way seismic data (was) interpreted" (Chief
Scientist, Geoscience Australia 2012) in particular in the NW
Australian frontier with "BP Exploration (Alpha)....work program(s) of
$600 million" (Chief Scientist, Geoscience Australia 2012).
Bangor Research since 1998 has pioneered, through experimental,
comparative and modelling studies and industry collaborations,
quantification of the wider ecosystem effects of fishing, specifically on
seabed habitats. Novel findings gave policy and economic benefits to the
fishing industry and led to the sustainable, continued profitable
development of the UK's largest blue mussel fishery and Isle of Man
scallop fishery, with a combined value of £22M. It directly led to Marine
Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of these fisheries and underpinned
certification of dozens of other demersal fisheries. Additionally, the
research has influenced UK retailer policies on sustainable fish sourcing,
providing direct environmental and commercial benefits and improving
public knowledge and sustainable consumption.
Research by Rowan and ERG colleagues Black, Bragg,
Cutler, Duck has addressed the science and policy challenges
faced by statutory authorities meeting their duty to implement the EU
Water Framework Directive (WFD) 2000. Assessing the sensitivity of aquatic
systems to physical, chemical and biological pressures is the central
theme, and through a series of commissioned projects funded by UK
environment and conservation agencies, the research has: