With over 20-years experience in air quality and water/wastewater research in Trinity College Dublin, our staff in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering are recognised as research leaders in these environmental topics.

Academic Staff

Prof Laurence Gill

Chair of Environmental Engineering

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Laurence Gill is a Professor in Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. His research interests involve studying the fate and transport of both air and water-borne pollutants in the natural and built environment, as well as the development of passive treatment processes. Much of the work involves extensive field studies which are then used to develop mathematical models to gain further insight into the processes. Prior to joining at Trinity College in 1999, he spent several years working in the UK water industry on the design of water and wastewater treatment processes for urban populations.

Professor Brian Broderick

Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

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Research Expertise

The central objective of my research is protection of the built environment, of human health and of climate. I protect civil society by studying interactions between engineered and natural systems. Hence, my key research projects have developed improved methods for protecting buildings and their occupants during earthquakes, for protecting the health of individuals from exposure to air pollution and for protecting the climate through renewable energy production. My primary research approach is the integrated mathematical-information modelling of complex systems, especially the effects of environmental loads (earthquake and wind) on engineering structures, and the effects of anthropogenic emissions (e.g. road transport) on air quality. My research is highly multidisciplinary, and I have achieved research breakthroughs by exchanging ideas and methods between diverse fields. Hence my research spans disciplines from atmospheric science to solid mechanics, and the research methods I employ include computational modelling, numerical simulation, experimental investigation and engineering design. I have collaborated and published with researchers from a wide variety of fields including engineers, environmental scientists, physicists, economists, clinicians, health scientists and seismologists. My research strengths in integrating information about real world processes with physical theory based mathematical models have allowed me to transform conventional approaches to globally important activities and achieve real impact through the generation of knowledge alongside my contributions to broader society. My research has made a unique and substantive contribution to a wide field and has had a high impact on policies and practices supporting societal protection, sustainable development, and economic efficiency. The main pathway for these contributions has been through the development of modelling tools that support innovation. For example, I have developed advanced air quality forecasting models to protect the health of vulnerable people, promoted renewable energy by creating methods for the simulation of the dynamic response of wind turbines, and extended urban resilience by improving the design of earthquake-resistant building structures. I have a sustained track-record of research achievement, having been awarded major research grants from several national (e.g. IRC, EPA) and international programmes (e.g. EU FP5-7, H2020), and maintained substantial research teams (PhD students, postdoctoral researchers and PIs) for over two decades. I have led multi-partner, multi-project European and national research programmes in more than one topic. I have published widely in fora that reach both scientific and professional engineering communities. As evidence of research leadership, I led the formation of the consortium recently awarded the National Construction Technology Centre by Enterprise Ireland. The lead PIs in all the other universities in this consortium completed their PhDs under my supervision or within our research group at Trinity. With initial platform funding of €5m, `ConstructInnovate" will contemporise the Irish construction industry. In the field of air quality, in which there had been almost no research activity before I joined Trinity, I have founded and led a research group that has published over 100 journal articles and won over €10M in research grants. As Associate Dean of Research and PI on the CHARM-EU TORCH project I am developing new University policies and strategies in Responsible Research and Innovation to ensure that Trinity remains at the forefront of European research practice.

Dr. John Gallagher

Assistant Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

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Position: Assistant Professor in Environmental Systems Modelling, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. Experience: Design and assessment of passive air pollution control systems using life cycle assessment to generate low-carbon and resource efficient conclusions without negative consequences i.e. aligning with circular economy goals. Approach: Delivering innovative solutions to current environmental and energy challenges and problem solving using the 3M technique (Measurement, Modelling and Mitigation). Activity: Co-investigator on several National and European projects: two INTERREG projects, and one Horizon2020, Erasmus+, SEAI and EPA project on air pollution, energy efficiency/recovery measurement and circular economy solutions. Teaching: Delivered lectures and workshops on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across Europe. Dissemination & Collaboration: Actively disseminating research through social and public media outlets. International research and industry sector collaborations: air, energy, water and construction.

Prof. Aonghus Mc Nabola

Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

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Prof. McNabola is a Professor in Energy and the Environment at the Dept of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, TCD. His research interests lie in the field of Environmental Fluid Dynamics where he has applied this expertise in air pollution, energy efficiency, and/or water services sectors. He has been active in this field of research for over 15 years. Prof. McNabola teaches at postgraduate and undergraduate levels in the subject areas of hydraulics, air pollution, and renewable energy. He holds a qualification in teaching and learning at the third level and has been involved in teaching activities in Italy and India. Prof. McNabola is a Visiting Reader at the Global Centre for Air Research(GCARE), at the Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the University of Surrey, UK. He is also a Colaborador Honorario (Adjunct Professor) at the Hydraulic division of the Agronomy Department at the University of Córdoba, Spain. Prof. McNabola is an Associate Editor for the international journal, Transport Research Part D: Transport and the Environment. He is also a regular reviewer for journals such as Renewable Energy, Atmospheric Environment, Water Resources Management, etc.Prof. McNabola currently leads a group of 3 Ph.D. students and 8 postdoctoral researchers and is involved, primarily as the lead partner and principal investigator, in a number of national and international collaborative projects, funded by SFI, Enterprise Ireland, INTERREG ERDF,SEAI and the EPA. Prof. McNabola has an h-index of 36 and an i-10 index of 83. He has generated funding of over €6.5 Million from national and primarily EU sources in over 36 funded research projects since 2008.

Dr. David O'Connell

Assistant Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

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Assistant Professor in Contaminant Hydrogeology and Hydrology in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering. My research focuses on water resources, water and wastewater treatment technologies along with studying earth systems processes governing water quality across scales from the field scale to nanoscale using multiple chemical and solid-state techniques. My expertise includes water resources, water and wastewater treatment technology, hydrogeology, hydrology and biogeochemistry with a focus on systems understanding and innovative solutions.

Dr. Liwen Xiao

Associate Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

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Dr. Liwen Xiao received his PhD degree at NUI Galway and worked as a lecturer there before joining the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at TCD as Assistant Professor in 2013. Since joining TCD, Dr Xiao has continued his research work in the following areas: (1) sustainable treatment of wastewater, (2) emerging contaminants (microplastics, antibiotics) detection and removal and (3) impacts of human activities on water quality and ecology. He currently has 4 PhD students in his research group and is involved in a number of research projects funded by national and international funding agencies. Dr Xiao is a college tutor and a deputy director of the research centre TrinityHaus. He is the director of MSc in Engineering