The Hydro-environmental Research Centre at Cardiff University was first established by Professor Roger Falconer (Director) in 1997 and has since then been joined by the following academic staff: Professor Binliang Lin, Professor Thorsten Stoesser, Dr. Shunqi Pan (Reader), Dr Catherine Wilson (Senior Lecturer), Dr Bettina Bockelmann-Evans (Senior Lecturer),  Dr Michaela Bray (Lecturer), Dr. Akin Babatunde (Lecturer), and Dr Reza Ahmadian (Lecturer).  Research within the Centre is sponsored by the CH2M Hill (formerly Halcrow Group) and was previously sponsored by Hyder plc (1997-00).  In addition to the academic staff, at any time the Centre typically has over 20 research associates and research students, as at present.

The prime aim of the Centre is to pursue research into the development, refinement and application of hydro-environmental computational models for predicting flow, water quality, sediment and contaminant transport processes in coastal waters, estuaries and river basins, with the main objectives of the Centre being summarised as follows:

  • To develop computational models to predict flow, solutes (including pollutants) and sediment transport processes in coastal, estuarine and river waters;
  • To undertake laboratory model studies and field monitoring programmes to improve on the accuracy of computational models;
  • To apply, calibrate and verify computational models against field data and develop interfaces and output devices for wider interpretation of the model results.

The Centre has an international reputation in environmental water management, with collaborative studies being undertaken with institutions in 19 countries, as well as other UK universities, CH2M Hill., Arup, HR Wallingford, Environment Agency, Scottish Water, APB MER, Cardiff Harbour Authority and several SMEs in the region.

Research activities involve the following main areas:

  • Computational hydraulics modelling
  • Hydraulic laboratory modelling studies
  • Coastal and estuarine hydrodynamics and water quality
  • Flood modelling of river basin systems
  • Eco-hydraulics and vegetation impact, including wetlands and mangroves
  • Surface and groundwater interactions
  • Sediment transport and geomorphological modelling
  • Water quality and contaminant process modelling
  • Disinfection and wastewater treatment process modelling
  • Tidal stream turbine design and operation
  • Turbulence measurement and modelling
  • Numerical methods and solution procedures

The Centre has a large, well equipped hydraulics laboratory, including: a large tidal basin, 2 recirculating flumes (1.2m wide and 0.3m wide), a large tidal flume (1.2m wide, 1.0m deep, bidirectional flow capacity of up to 1 cumec) and a model disinfection tank. The flumes and basins can accommodate a wide range of hydraulic model experiments, as can be seen from the list of research projects undertaken to date. Sophisticated measuring equipment include: a number of Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters (up to 200Hz of sampling frequency), 2 digital fluorometers, a bed profiler, an automated multi-probe water level monitoring system and access to a Laser Doppler Anemometer. The Centre staff also work closely with other research groups and government departments and industry, across Wales and internationally, in acquiring field data.

hydro-environmental, environmental hydraulics, hydroinformatics, hydrodynamics, water quality, coastal waters, estuaries, rivers, ecohydraulics, sediment transport, disinfection, DIVAST, FASTER, TRIVAST, HEMAT