Alma Lopez-Aviles

Dr Alma Lopez-Aviles


Research Fellow
PhD Licentiate C.WEM C.Sci

Biography

Biography

Alma currently works at the University of Surrey as a Research Fellow in the AQUAVALENS project funded by the EU looking at techniques for testing the quality of small water supplies. Prior to that, Alma worked in a project funded by EPSRC and ESRC that investigated the Water-Energy-Food Nexus in food manufacturing in the UK, and previous to this Nexus project and still at the University of Surrey, Alma was a Research Fellow in a EU project looking at resource efficiency systems and policies in the context of a circular economy in Europe. Surrey led the water sector research for this EU consortium and focused on consumers' acceptance and policy packages for the promotion of grey-water recycling and rainwater harvesting at domestic level. Alma has led a number of outputs from these projects including reports for the EU consortia (see list of publications below and SPREE -Servicizing Policy for Resource Efficient Economy at www.spreeproject.com ).

Alma's area of expertise is water resources with special interest in flood and coastal erosion risk management, and climate change adaptation (policy and practice), and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. She completed a first degree in geography at the Universidad Complutense Madrid and University of Leeds, and a PhD physical geography (hydrology/geomorphology) at the University of Leeds, UK.

Alma has approximately 15 years post-PhD work experience in the UK and Ethiopia, which covers academia and the private and public sectors. Alma's last post prior to joining Surrey was as Associate Professor at the Environmental Science Programme of Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, where she taught several courses and supervised numerous postgraduate students. She has worked for the Environment Agency (EA England and Wales) as a national Climate Change Policy Advisor and Thames region flood risk and coastal erosion management officer. Alma also worked at ATKINS and SKM-Enviros (now Jacobs), where she was a Principal Consultant leading bids and projects for a variety of clients including DEFRA, the EA and local authorities. She was also the focal point in SKM-Enviros UK for climate change adaptation and the business development lead for her team in London.

Alma is an experienced project manager, a chartered member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (C.WEM) and a Chartered Scientist (C.Sci), Science Council, UK.

Research interests

  • Nexus Water-Energy-Food
  • Water Resource efficiency (greywater recycling and rainwater harvesting, green infrastructure)
  • Water sector policy
  • Integrated water resource and catchment management
  • Climate change adaptation (science, policy and practice in water resources, flood and coastal erosion risk management and the built environment)
  • Fluvial geomorphology investigations: geomorphological processes and potential impacts on infrastructure
  • Hydrological and water resource local investigations for environmental impact assessments and compliance with European Water Framework Directive
  • Flood risk assessments, including hydrological and hydraulic modelling
  • Surface water management and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SUDS)
  • Development control and flood risk management policy, planning and regulation (including planning process, planning appeals -UK)

Research collaborations

Addis Ababa University

UNESCO

TUDelft

University of Oxford

Reading University

Universidad Autonoma Barcelona

Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Teaching

Civil and Environmental Engineering MSc Programme, University of Surrey, UK

  • Flood Risk Management policy and regulation in the Water and Environmental Management module
  • Distance Learning material produced on Flood Risk Management policy and regulation

Centre for Environmental Strategy MSc Programme, University of Surrey, UK

  • Flood Risk Management policy and regulation in the Environmental Science and Society module

Civil and Environmental Engineering UG Programme, University of Surrey, UK

  • Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

Affiliations

Chartered member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CWEM), UK since 2005.

Chartered Scientist (CSci), UK since 2006.

Other Skills

Bilingual: English and Spanish;

  • Good organisational and project management skills;
  • Experienced at translating complex scientific issues into non-technical language and policy;
  • Overseas working experience (Africa)
  • Experienced at dealing with challenging situations and objectives;
  • Excellent influencing and negotiating skills;
  • Experienced in working with institutions and government offices in developing countries;
  • Good understanding of European, Scotland, England and Wales' Environment Protection Agencies;
  • Good understanding of both the regulatory and private sectors, with vast experience dealing with developers;
  • Excellent track record of engaging with a variety of stakeholders, influencing decision-makers and achieving environmentally sound sustainable solutions that are both satisfactory for private sector clients while meeting the requirements of regulators and planning authorities

My publications

Publications

Publication highlights

López-Avilés A., Leta S. and Tadesse W. ‘Chapter 4: Multi-stakeholder engagement in innovation for sustainability in Ethiopia’, accepted for publication in ‘Constructing sustainability science in developing countries -six case studies’. Eds C. Aguirre. J. Chaves-Chaparro and S. Arico, UNESCO publishing.

López-Avilés A. and Pedley S. (2017) Report of users’ perceptions and expectations of technologies for rapid microbial analysis’, EU output submitted on 31 August 2017 to be published online http://aquavalens.org/documents/8375848/0/D11+7+Users+Perception+Report_30Aug2017.pdf/52e5c66e-cb75-35ef-c3a5-4ada8994031a or http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/846313/

López-Avilés A. and Pedley S. (2017) ‘Report on the experience of users of AQUAVALENS technology and their recommendations for implementation’, EU output published online http://aquavalens.org/documents/8375848/0/D11.5+Report+.pdf/3ec96529-ecc1-4be1-b8d4-b97445e4c2e2 

López-Avilés A. and Pedley S. (2017) ‘Report accompanying Deliverable D11.6 Database of microbiological results, sanitary survey, health and environmental data for analysis’, EU output published online http://aquavalens.org /documents/8375848/0/D11+6+Report+Database+1April2017.pdf/5741c38b-8d12-4d26-8b5b-4cc69b628ced  

Veldhuis, A. J., Glover, J., Bradley, D., Behzadian, K., Butler, D., Cottee, J., Downing, C., Farmani, R., Ingram, J., Leach, M., López-Avilés, A., Pike, A., De Propris, L., Purvis, L., Robinson, P., and Yang, A. (2017), ‘Environmentally sustainable localised food systems: Opportunities and challenges’. In Production Planning & Control: Special Issue on Redistributed Manufacturing. ISSN 0953-7287

Cottee J., López-Avilés A., Behzadian K., Bradley D., Butler D., Downing C., Farmani R., Ingram J., Leach M., Pike A., De Propris L., Purvis L., Robinson P. and Yang A. (2016) 'The Local Nexus Network: Exploring the Future of Localised Food Systems and Associated Energy and Water Supply'. In 'Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2016', Smart Innovation Systems and Technologies Special Volume, R.Setchi, R.J.Howlett, Y.Liu and P. Theobald (eds.), p. 613-624.

Chenoweth, J., López-Avilés, A., Druckman, A., and Morse, S. (2016) 'Options for reducing household water use in the UK: the potential of servicised systems', Built Environment Special Edition, Volume 42, No. 2.

Chenoweth, J., López-Avilés, A., Druckman, A., and Morse, S. (2016) 'Water consumption and subjective wellbeing: an analysis of British households', Ecological Economics, Volume 130, October 2016, Pages 186-194.

López-Avilés A., Chenoweth J., Druckman A., Morse S., Kauffmann D., Hayoon L., Pereira A., Vence X., Carballo A., González M., Turne A., Feitelson E. and Givoni M. (2015) 'Servicizing Policy Packages for the Water sector' SPREE project (Servicizing Policy for a Resource Efficient Economy), EU output published online. Published: http://www.spreeproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Deliverable-8.2.1_Servicizing-PP-in-the-Water-Sector_FULL_3.pdf (publication in preparation for an academic journal led by López-Avilés A.).

López-Avilés A.,Chenoweth J., Druckman A. and Morse S. (2015) 'SPREE Country Feasibility Study Report: Water Sector in the UK', EU output published online. Publication of part of this work in an academic journal is in the pipeline led by López-Avilés A. (see below). Published: http://www.spreeproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Deliverable-7.1.1_UK-Water-Country-Feasibility-Report_website.pdf (publication in preparation for an academic journal led by López-Avilés A.).

López-Avilés, A. (2012-13) Evaluation reports for UNICEF for seven projects implemented in Ethiopia under the Japanese funded AAP -African Adaptation Program: Climate Change Knowledge Management and Communications Strategy and IT platform developed for UNICEF, Ethiopia.

López-Avilés, A. 'Flash flooding in Spain: geomorphological approaches supporting flood frequency analysis, and the implications for the design of structures' (2007) 'Water and Environment Journal', Blackwell publishing for CIWEM, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 217-226.

López-Avilés, A.'Technical Briefing papers on Climate Change Adaptation and Flood Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Water Resources, and Climate Change Adaptation and Planning/the built environment', Environment Agency (2005-2006), as part of the EA's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan.

In preparation:

López-Avilés, A., Van der Veen, R., Chenoweth, J., Druckman, A. Morse, S, Kisjes, K. and Nikolic, I. 'Agent-based modelling of the Servicising of domestic water-saving systems in UK households'. Prepared and ready for submission after minor edits.

López-Avilés, A., Veldhuis, A. J., Leach, M. and Yang, A. 'Sustainable energy and water opportunities in localised food production: a case study of bread in the UK'. In preparation for submission to Applied Energy Special Issue.

López-Avilés, A., Chenoweth, J., Druckman, and A. Morse, S. 'Policy Packaging for grey-water recycling and rainwater harvesting servicizing systems at household level: a case study in southeast England'. In preparation for submission to Water Policy Journal.

López-Avilés, A., Chenoweth, J., Kaufmann, D., Manes, A., Hayoon, L., Druckman, A. and Morse, S. 'Are servicizing business models the key for uptake of household water efficiency systems? A comparative study of grey-water recycling systems in England and Israel'. In preparation for submission to Water Resources Research.

Older publications:

López-Avilés, A. (2012-13) Evaluation reports for UNICEF for seven projects implemented in Ethiopia under the Japanese funded AAP -African Adaptation Program: Climate Change Knowledge Management and Communications Strategy and IT platform developed for UNICEF, Ethiopia.

• Bati Jatropha plantation and biofuel project;• Tekeze Reservoir buffer zone rehabilitation project;• Myliham biogas and micro-dam project;• Lake Logo sustainable land management and fisheries project;• Kebena River restoration project;• Guna Mountain rehabilitation project;• Environmental education in Debre Markos schools project.

López-Avilés, A. 'Technical Briefing papers on Climate Change Adaptation and Flood Risk Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Water Resources, and Climate Change Adaptation and Planning/the built environment', Environment Agency (2005-2006), as part of the EA's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan.

López-Avilés, A. 'Causes, magnitude and frequency of historic floods of the rivers of the Maestrazgo-Bajo Aragón regions (NE Spain). The study case of the Guadalope Basin' (2000) Revista Teruel. Instituto de Estudios Turolenses, Teruel, Spain.

López-Avilés, A. (2000) 'Las avenidas históricas registradas en diversos municipios del curso alto y medio de los ríos Guadalope y Bergantes, Maestrazgo-Bajo Aragón (NE Spain)'. Boletín de Mas de las Matas, vol. 19. Grupo de Estudios Masinos, Teruel, Spain, pp. 477-559.

López-Avilés, A., Ashworth, P.J. and Macklin, M.G. (1998) 'Floods and Quaternary Sedimentation Style in a Bedrock Controlled Reach of the Bergantes River, Ebro Basin, Northeast Spain'. In Benito, G., Baker, V.R. and Gregory, K.J. (Eds) Palaeohydrology and Environmental Change. Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK, pp. 181-196.

López-Avilés, A. (1997) 'The problem of sedimentation and its immediate consequences on reservoir siltation in semi-arid regions. Sedimentation control and retarding techniques'. Concept Paper, IGAD (Inter-Governmental Authority on Development), Ethiopia.

López-Avilés, A., and Macklin, M.G. (1996) 'Las rases site. Floods and Quaternary sedimentation styles in a bedrock controlled reach of the Bergantes River (Ebro Basin)'. Proceedings of the II International Meeting on Global Continental Palaeohydrology (GLOCOPH'96), Field Excursion Guide, Toledo, Spain, pp. 48-57.

López-Avilés, A. (1996) 'Aggradation-incision cycles recorded in a bedrock controlled reach of the Bergantes River, NE Spain'. Proceedings of the BGRG (British Geomorphological Research Group) Postgraduates National Symposium, Sheffield, UK.

López-Avilés, A. (1995) 'Identification of different sedimentation styles in a study reach of the Bergantes River, NE Spain'. Proceedings of the BGRG (British Geomorphological Research Group) Postgraduates National Symposium, Leeds, UK.

Project reports:

Multiple project reports plus a number of internal briefings and presentations on climate change adaptation and flood and coastal erosion risk management while working in the EA, ATKINS and SKM Enviros. Examples of projects where Alma was the leading author/technical expert and project manager include the following:

TECHNICAL EXPERT, LEADING REPORT AUTHOR AND PROJECT MANAGER

  • Urban diffuse pollution investigation for the Environment Agency (EA), England and Wales (2009-2010).
  • Impacts of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) on causes of Climate Change for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), UK (2009-2010).
  • Strategy for the sustainable management of the Sweeps Ditch for Spelthorne Borough Council, UK (2008-2009).
  • Watercourses flood risk, ecological and morphological assessment for Spelthorne Borough Council, UK (2008).
  • Technical Briefing papers on Climate Change Adaptation and Flood Risk Management, Water Resources and Planning & the built environment, for the Environment Agency (2005-2006).

TECHNICAL EXPERT AND REPORT LEADING AUTHOR OR CONTRIBUTOR

  • River Findhorn crossing at Invereen, Scotland, for EURUS Energy (2007-2009).
  • Eastern Yar, Isle of Wight Flood Defence Strategy Plan, for the Environment Agency.
  • Shellhaven Development for TRANSCO.
  • River Arun Flood Management Strategy Plan, for the Environment Agency.
  • Loddon and Blackwater Flood Management Strategy Inception Study, for the Environment Agency.
  • The Cut, Lower Mole, Upper River Wey Flood Risk Modelling and Mapping studies, for the Environment Agency.