Dr Stephanie Connelly
- Lecturer (Infrastructure & Environment)
I graduated from the Environmental Art department at Glasgow School of Art in 2001 (BA Hons) and worked as sculptor for five years before returning to academia to retrain as a Civil Engineer (Meng 1st class, 2011, UofG). I embarked on a career in research motivated by the potential for engineers to contribute to address of the global water and sanitation crises. My PhD (UofG, 2016) on the ‘Ecology, physiology and performance in high-rate anaerobic digestion’ employed molecular and biochemical analytical methods to investigate the influence of bioreactor geometry and system scale on microbial community composition and function, and, proposed the application of limit-state testing to biotechnologies. As a PDRA on the Frontier Engineering grant at UofG I led on the development of the novel robotics platform ‘Wastebot’ which enables systematic, high-throughput optimisation of microbial community metabolism. Subsequently I was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Research Fellowship coupling limit-state testing with automated high-throughput experimentation to rationalise the design of complex microbial communities for water treatment biotechnologies. I currently lecture in Environmental Engineering at and lead my research team within the Water and Environment Research Group at UofG.
My work is fundamentally motivated by the global water and sanitation crises. It is estimated that today as many as 1.2 billion people live without access to safe drinking water and 2.4 billion without access to safe sanitation. Whilst the solution to these crises is in no doubt political in part, I believe that sustainable engineering solutions have a role to play in delivering global public and environmental health protection and in achieving safe, sustainable water for all.
- Vision: Engineered low-cost, decentralized, sustainable biological water treatment and sanitation solutions that are resilient to the challenges of climate change and enhance the quality of living of urban and rural communities globally.
- Approach: Theory-informed design of engineered biotechnologies using high-throughput limit-state optimisation and failure testing enabled by state-of-the-art automated approaches.
- Methodological expertise: molecular ecology, microbiology, computational ‘omics approaches, aerobic and anaerobic microcosm experiments, laboratory automation.
- Rational Biological Design and Transdisciplinary Evaluation of Constructed Wetlands (2019-22), Royal Academy of Engineering Frontiers Follow-On Grant, Co-I (£300k, 50% ownership)
- Optimising constructed wetlands by biological design (2019-20) Royal Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Seed Fund , PI (£30k)
- Understanding and improving human urine treatment processes (2019-20), The Royal Society Future Leaders Africa (FLAIR) Collaboration Initiation Grant, PI with Dr Dyllon Randall, UCT (£4k)
- Optimising decentralised, low-cost wastewater infrastructure by managing the microbes (2017-20), EPSRC-GCRF, Co-I (£1.2M, 30% ownership)
- Decentralised wastewater treatment: global innovation for sustainable rural communities (2017-20), Scottish Government Grant to James Hutton Institute, PI at UofG (£60k)
- State of the art methods for detection and interrogation of spread of AMR in environmental microbial communities (2019), Daiwa Foundation, PI (£3k)
- In-silico optimisation of biofilms-surface interactions for developing world water treatment (2017-18), EPSRC-ISF University of Glasgow, PI (£10.5k)
- Mapping the environmental distribution of Schistosoma mansoni from faeces to water in rural sub-Saharan Africa (2017-18), EPSRC-ISF University of Glasgow, PI (£10.5k)
- Automated optimization of developing world wastewater treatment using the Wastebot (2016-17), EPSRC-ISF University of Glasgow, PI (£25k)
- Engineering decentralised biological water treatment systems by the limit state approach (2016-18), EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship, PI (£60k)
- Linghui Shi, PhD Candidate, Donor funded studentship (2018-22)
- Steve Joyce, PhD Candidate, Funded by Scottish Water (2018-22)
- Melissa Moore, PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow PhD studentship (2017-21)
- Valentine Okonkwo, PhD Candidate, Donor funded studentship (2018-22)
- Ayo Ogundero, PhD Candidate, IBioIC funded studentship (2017-21)
ENG2078: Environmental Processes 2
ENG5293: Water and Environment Design 5 (Course Coordinator)