Emma is a Chartered Civil Engineer and NERC Embedded Digital Research Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and working with LEAP Environmental. Her current project involves developing a Carbon Reduction Digital Twin (CReDiT) of brownfield remediation. This aims to be a design tool for appraising brownfield remediation options, focusing on calculating and reducing the carbon footprint of the process and improving material sustainability.
Her previous research focused on obtaining and analysing local government data on soil contamination, including asbestos and PAH. Emma has worked in local government as a contaminated land officer, civil engineering consultancy as a geoenvironmental engineer and as a lecturer in soil mechanics and environmental geotechnics at the University of Surrey. Her main research area involves contaminated land issues such as investigation and remediation of brownfield sites. This area developed from her PhD at Cambridge University investigating the migration of pollutants in soil using numerical and geotechnical centrifuge modelling.
Her consultancy experience was obtained at Atkins and Leap Environmental Ltd., which included working on projects including the site investigation at the Millennium Site, Greenwich, remediation at Fulham gasworks and acting as verification engineer for remediation work at housing developments. In local government, she obtained DEFRA funding and project managed a major Part IIa remediation project of contaminated residential gardens. She also developed a risk ranking criteria for Part IIa sites and has overseen the contaminated land requirements of the planning process particularly for residential development.
She has research experience in overseeing PhD and Research Council projects on satellite monitoring of water quality, air pollution from traffic, using geographical information systems (GIS) on civil engineering projects and intelligent transport systems.
Emma is also a STEM ambassador, keen to promote civil engineering, particularly in primary schools. She is a member of the Women's Engineering Society and the Society of Brownfield Risk Assessors.
NERC Embedded Digital Researcher (with LEAP Environmental)
The aim of the proposed project is to apply digital twin technology to optimise remediation solutions for brownfield sites in terms of ensuring the site is ‘suitable for use’, whilst optimising material movement and use, and minimising carbon emissions. The research is also directly relevant to new requirements in local government for sustainability statements on major projects. This will be achieved through the following shared objectives, developed with the non-academic host:
Develop a digital twin of a development site using existing desk study and site investigation information, including enabling additional input as the project develops.
Develop a road map and modelling tools to evaluate material and process requirements for remediation options and modifications.
Calculate the comparative carbon emissions of these remediation processes.
Daphne Jackson Research Project
Soil contamination data on brownfield (former industrial) sites is generated as part of the UK planning process. This includes data on pollutants that are considered a high risk to future site users e.g. lead, asbestos and benzo(a)pyrene (a carcinogen). As a result local government has a vast resource of highly relevant contamination data that is at present under-utilised.
The aim of this research project was to:
Establish the extent and nature of the data held by Local Authorities
Analyse this data to identify trends and spatial patterns
Explore the potential to predict where contamination may be present
Evaluate how such analysis could help reduce the costs of brownfield site redevelopment.
NERC Embedded Digital Researcher - Working with LEAP Environmental developing a digital twin of brownfield remediation - with a module calculating the carbon footprint of design options.
Daphne Jackson Research Fellowship - analysing local government data on brownfield contamination.
Preliminary study into the development of a tool to evaluate the water quality of lakes in Ethiopia using satellite images.
EPSRC funded project. Research Assistant: Dr M.Mavroulidou
EPSRC and Tony Gee and Partners
EPSRC and National Industrial Symbiosis Programme
EPSRC and Surrey County Council
ESRC and NERC (with Department of Psychology at the University of Surrey)
Royal Society Grant
EPSRC Case Studentship: Surrey County Council and Borough Councils of Surrey.
2019 I attended the Daphne Jackson Conference and presented a poster that was awarded a prize. A link to my review of the conference is below:
Completed postgraduate research projects I have supervised
PhD/ EngD students and projects:
P. Jenson (2010) Incorporating industrial symbiosis into regional resource planning
N. Cropp (2009) Regenerating the Brownfields: Decision support for contaminated land professionals
P. Canning (2009) Environment v. Traffic: finding the balance
M. Lythe (2006) Comparison of spatial subsets in the analysis of air pollution data
I.Cowan (2005) The development and application of an advanced screening model to predict air quality
L. Lim (2004) A numerical investigation of traffic-related pollutants in an urban area
T. Kelay (2004) Integrating scientific and lay accounts of air pollution
As a University lecturer (1998-2010) I taught the following courses/modules:
Level 1 Civil Engineering Practice
Level 2 Soil mechanics
Level 2 Laboratory module (geotechnics)
Level 3 Sustainable transport
Level 4 / MSc Environmental Geotechnics.
Level 1 Geology field course (Devon)
Level 2 Integrated Design
Level 2 Leadership and management
Level 3 Integrated Design
Level 3/4 Individual Project
Level 4 Multidisciplinary design project
Hellawell, E. E. and Hughes, S. J. 2021. Evaluation and Potential Uses of Site Investigation Soil Contamination Data Submitted to Uk Local Government, Environmental Management, Springer, (May). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-022-01648-1