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Suresh Surendran


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    Personal profile

    Research Interests


    My research, innovation and development expertise, experience and interests are in “Water related Environmental and Public Health Engineering for Risk Resilience and Sustainable Development” area. It can be categorised under following 3 strands


    1) Hydro-climatic-meteorological such as flood, drought, storm, related pollution and erosion risk, receptor vulnerability and resilience assessment (Natural Hazard, Risk & resilience based System Planning) - Development of:

    • Risk assessment, foresight scenario analysis & option appraisal methods within DPSOR framework
    • Broad scale system (S_P_R) and receptor modelling (risk to people, asset and environment)
    • Decision support frameworks for strategic (investment, development, asset management) planning.
    • Agent based modelling and decision support frameworks for incident/ disaster management planning


    2) Urban water, waste & climate/ energy resilience by reduction, water reclamation of water, energy nutrients and reuse (Water, Wastewater & Solid waste treatment and sustainable urban development):

    • Data collection, analysis and forecast / foresight domestic water & energy use, wastewater and solid waste production
    • Method for water and energy resources planning; demand and wastage management, supply demand balance
    • Characterisation of wastewater (greywater & rain water roof/surface runoff) and solid waste; assessment of risks
    • Development of sustainable grey water reclamation, rainwater harvesting, green roof/wall and other SUDS Techniques
    • Development of appropriate technologies for decentralised but integrated water, energy & nutrients reclamation from wastewater


    3) Emergency and strategic water supply, sanitation, and drainage for rural village, urban slum and refugee camps (Appropriate Water, Sanitation, Environmental & Public Health Engineering - WASH):

    • Study on water, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management availability and “function-usage-impact” on health, safety, welfare and the eco-system
    • Feasibility study based on appropriateness of technology, socio-cultural-regulatory acceptability, finical affordability / willingness to pay and environmental friendliness
    • Development of appropriate water supply, latrines, water/wastewater treatment for emergency shelters / refugee camps, remote rural villages and shanty towns;
    • Design guidance and management policy / procedure development



    Dr Suresh Surendran is a PhD/MSc qualified academic, 35 years experienced Civil/Environmental Engineer, recognised scientist in “Water Engineering for Risk Resilience and Sustainable Development” and registered programme/ project manager.


    Post Title

    Employer’s Name and Address

    01/2015 to date

    Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering / Course Director Env. Engineering

    (R&D Lead for Water & Environment)

    Coventry University, Faculty of Engineering, Environment & Computing (+ Low Impact Building; Environment & Water Research)

    09/2014 to 12/2014

    Freelance (Flood & Water Management, Engineering & Science Consultancies)

    Relim (now GTEV-ReX) Limited, Swindon, SN5 5TS, UK

    01/ 2011 to 08/2014

    Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering / Programme Leader Civil & Env. Mgt.

    (R&D Lead for Water & Environment)

    University of South Wales, Faculty of Engineering, Science & Computing (+ Energy & Environment Research Institute), UK

    01/2006 to 10/2010

    Principal Scientist / Science Theme Manager – Flood & Coastal Erosion Modelling & Risk (MAR)

    Defra/Environment Agency Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management R&D Programme, H/O (Evidence Directorate), UK

    01/2002 to 01/2006

    R&D Programme Manager / Project Manager / Risk Analyst

    Environment Agency- H/O (Environmental Policy- Risk and Forecasting, Flood Risk), UK

    08/1998 to 12/2001

    Senior Water Resources Planner / Demand Management Coordinator

    Environment Agency - North West Region (Water Resources), UK

    09/1994 to 08/1998

    Research Associate (Water & wastewater) / Teaching Assistant

    Loughborough University, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, UK

    04/1986 to 12/1991

    Head of Investigation, Monitor & Studies, Water & Sanitary Engineer

    Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Water & Sanitation, Sri Lanka

    01/1982 to 01/1986

    Civil Engineering Trainee - Water and Environmental Engineering

    Samuel & Sons Ltd, World Bank funded Greater Colombo water supply, Sri Lanka

    Currently Dr Surendran is working for Coventry University and previously worked for the University of South Wales as a Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also worked for Loughborough University, UK. He is the Director for Environmental Engineering Courses and was a programme leader for Civil & Environment Management and has a strategic vision, leadership skill and proven experience in developing and delivering new curriculum for PG & UG courses and bitesize professional development training courses in Civil and Environmental Engineering area. He has experience in teaching, learning support, research, administration, enterprise and scholarly activities in water and environmental engineering. Dr Surendran has coordinated and led (Principal investigator) very large proposals (€25million) with leading academic/research institutions and SME’s in the UK as well as in the Netherland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Hungary, Cyprus, Austria and Turkey as well India, China, Indonesia and Singapore.

    Experience in Coventry University, John Laing Building, Much Park Street, Coventry, CV1 2HF, UK

    • Course Director for MEng and BEng (and proposed MSc) Environmental Engineering

      - Developed curriculum/ modules for MEng/BEng Environmental Engineering; Developing MSc & BSc Environmental Engineering and Bite size training courses

      - Undertake course management and support the school

    • Module leader for the following Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering courses (plan, develop, improve, lecture, support and manage modules):

      1) MEng 4thyr- Env. Risk Assessment & Management. (20Cr);

      2) MEng 4thyr- Water, Sanitation and Shelter Tech (20 Cr);

      3) MEng 4thyr- Water &Wastewater Treatment Tech (20Cr);

      4) MEng/BEng & BSc 3rd year - Hydrology, Modelling & Water Engineering (20 Cr);

      5) MEng/BEng 3rd yr- Professional Develop. Training (40Cr);

      6) MEng/BEng 2nd year - Alternative Energy (20 Cr);

    • Contributing to Civil and Environmental Engineering; Disaster Management and Petroleum & Env Tech Modules
       - MSc Water and Wastewater Treatment
       - MSc/MEng/BEng/BSc Research Projects
       - MEng/BEng/BSc 3rd yr & 4th yr Group Project
       - MEng/BEng/BSc 1st yr & 2nd yr Hydraulics
       - BSc 2nd yr & 3yr Water, Sanitation & Environmental Eng
    • Director of studies for 2 PhD & supervising another PhD, developing & recruiting students for PhD, MPhil & Mres

    • Member of the Low Impact Building (Environment & Water Research) Centres.

    • Led and developed three H2020 proposal on ( 25m)

      - H2020 - DRS-01-2015 - Response Exploration Simulator and Operation-guide to Lower the Vulnerability to Extreme Weather and Climate Risks (RESOLVER)

      - H2020 - WATER-1b-2015 - High Resource Yielding Decentralised Wastewater Reclamation System at an Optimised Scale (HYDROS)

      - H2020 - SEC-01-DRS-2016 - Response Exploration Simulator for the Operation to Lower the Vulnerability to Extreme Risks - Command Options & Planning Scenarios (RESOLVER-COPS)

      - H2020 - SCC-02-2016-2017 - Innovation and demonstration of integrated “green-blue-system” as an environmental option for urban sustainability (Indigenous)

    • Member of the team working on submissions for Accreditation of Academic (Civil Eng. & Env. Eng.) Courses (JBM, ICE)

    • Member of Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, programme/subject/examination boards etc.


    Experience in University of South Wales (Glamorgan), Llantwit Rd, Pontypridd, Wales, CF37 1DL, UK

    • Course/Award leader for Post Graduate Programmes (Civil Eng. & Environmental Mgt.; Civil & Structural Engineering). Course administration and timetabling.

    • Module leader – planed, developed, improved, lectured, supported learners (visiting guest lecture, tutorials, lab practical, field work) and managed following 8 modules:

      1)   MSc module on Dissertation (60 Credits);

      2)   MSc module on Appropriate Development Technologies & Sustainability (20 Credits);

      3)   MSc module on Carbon management & Control (20 Cr);

      4)   MSc module on Safety, Health & Environmental Risk in Engineering (20 Credits);

      5)   MEng/BEng 3rdyr. module on Hydraulics & Environmental Engineering (10 Credits);

      6)   BSc 3rdyr. module on Environmental Engineering & Management (20 Credits);

      7)   BEng 2ndyr. module on Hydraulics & Hydrology (20 Crs); 

      8)   HND / BSc 2ndyr. Water Engineering (20 Credits);

    • Supervised 4 PhD, many MSc & undergraduate projects, developed & examined PhD & MPhil projects

    • Developed the modules for MSc Civil Engineering & Environmental Management”

    • Senior Consultant in the Centre for Engineering Research & Environmental Applications (CEREA). Technology transfer and marketing of research output as appropriate

    • Member of Energy & Environment Research Institute.

    • Application and attracting of external funding/grants Led and developed an FP7 project ( 6.35 million)

      - FP7-ENV-2013-WATER-INNO-DEMO-call - Integrated Onsite system for Water, Energy and Nutrient-solids Reclamation from domestic wastes and wastewater (OWENs_Rec)

    • Responsible for Hydraulic and Water Engineering Laboratory (including Health & Safety)

    • Member of the team working on submissions for Accreditation of Academic (Civil Eng. & Env. Eng.) Courses (JBM, ICE)

    • Member of Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, programme/subject/examination boards etc.

    Dr Surendran has an industrial experience of 26 years, working for the Government Regulators, Operating Authorities, Environmental and International Development Agencies as well as for consultants and contractors in UK and Sri Lanka. He also worked with partners in many European, American and Asian countries. This industrial experience includes the following 3 Areas in Civil/Environment/Water Engineering, Science & Management.

    From Jan 2002 to Oct 2010 (8.75 years in) – Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM): worked as

    • Principal Scientist / Science Theme Manager for Modelling & Risk (MAR) within Join Defra/ Environment Agency FCERM R&D Programme, Evidence Directorate, (Head Office), UK.

    • Programme Manager / Senior Project Manager / Senior Risk Analyst, in Environment Agency (Head Office),Environmental Policy – Risk and Forecasting Team, Flood Risk R&D and Policy Development UK.

    Dr Surendran has

    • Successfully led / developed the UK Government’s FCERM - MAR science theme, research strategy, governance, programme and managed the theme, team and delivered the outcomes of the strategy
    • Within 8-year period developed (as PI) 71 R&D projects; applied, secured and managed resources (£18m direct & £20m partnership funding)
    • Project managed about 30 large project and has effectively disseminated all the FCERM – MAR Research projects within the Theme
    • Supported flood risk strategic and investment planning, development control, flood risk mapping, asset and incident management planning.
    • Successfully worked with sponsors, partners, customers and advisors and developed R&D strategies, programmes and projects. Provided evidences, innovative techniques, tools and guidance for FCRM.
    • Secured resources (funding, staff); managed programme & projects within the cost, time and agreed scientific quality. Disseminated, advised and facilitated uptake of R&D outputs into FCRM business.
    • Built, collaborated and maintained partnerships with UK Government, Local Authorities, Research Councils, EU, USA and China projects/programmes. Secured resource, IPR and promote our goals.
    • Line and matrix managed dispersed teams of internal and external project managers and scientists. Supported, developed their capabilities and health and safety.
    • Effectively contributed to FCRM Science in the area of risk sources and climate change; risk pathways and interventions; risk to receptor and sustainability; Rural and urban catchments; estuary and coastal floods and erosion; Whole system modelling and decision support.
    • Developed, applied secured funds, managed and disseminated projects and “Flood Risk and Uncertainty” Theme (including Data and Information; Climate Change; Performance and Reliability) within the Defra / Agency FCRM R&D programme.
    • Developed Risk framework for OST’s flood foresight and contributed to the Technical steering panel 
    • Conducted risk analyses and supported policy and process development.
    • Provided scientific/technical and policy advice to the Environment Agency and other operational authorities, Government departments (Defra, OST), research council and EU projects/programmes.

    (Dr Surendran has strong track record in strategic, proof of concept and applied research and he provided the evidence, innovation; disseminated the out puts and emended this into UK and EC policies, processes and operations. He has lead the development of tools, techniques, guidance and necessary science support for the following areas and facilitated the UK Environment Agency, government and EU to move from Flood Defence to wider Risk Management.

    • Policies (Directives & Acts), strategies (risk based special planning & investment) and plans (CFMP, SMPS & EMP)
    • Data, modelling, mapping and risks assessment, option appraisal, decision support system and planning procedures
    • Processes and system of fluvial, pluvial (drainage, flash flooding), ground water and coastal flooding & erosion
    • Flood/coastal asset management (structural), development control and incident management (non-structural

     Within this period, Suresh with his colleagues has developed risk frameworks for UK Government Chief Scientist’s flood foresight and participated in the was in Technical Advisory Panel. He was an expert advisor for UK Chief Scientist’s (Sri David King & Professor John Beddington) Future Flood Foresight Programme and advised UK (OST), US (USACE) & Chinese (the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Water Resource) Flood Foresight Programme.

    Suresh was also represented in many review panels and steering groups including EPSRC (FRMRC 1 & 2), NERC (FREE) EC Interreg (COMRISK), EC Framework (FLOODsite) and ERA-NET CRUE programmes. During the time, Suresh has participated many Networks funded by EPSRC, ENEC & EC and reviewed journal papers for ICE & CIWEM and reviewed papers for the Defra/Environment Agency Flood & Coastal Management Conference proceedings.

     He also provided voluntary contribution during flood incident management in UK and Tsunami relief activities in Sri Lanka.


    From Sep 1994 to Dec 2001 (7.25 years in) Water Resources / Demand Management, Wastewater Treatment / Reclamation and Risk Management: worked as

    • Senior Water Resources Planner / Demand Management Coordinator in Environment Agency, (North West Region), Water Resources - Hydrological System Team, UK.
    • Research Associate / Teaching (water/ wastewater treatment), Loughborough University, Department of Civil and Building Engineering (Water Research Group), UK.

    Dr Surendran has

    • Carried out drought risk, water demand & leakage studies in service industry / school, small-medium size enterprise and farms. Audited Water Company’s demand/leakage, reviewed their plans.
    • Forecasted, foresighted, modelled supply-demand, produced regional water demand and leakage management strategy. Contributed to the national water resource strategy and implementation plan
    • Represented Region in the National Demand Management Group (with the National Demand Management Centre) and in pollution prevention and minimisation group.
    • Influenced, formed and maintained partnerships with the Government, regulators Water Company, National Farmers Union and small to medium sized enterprises and schools.
    • Conducted water demand management projects and promotions; Produced publicity materials and presentations. Supervised student’s project and lectured in universities.
    • Reviewed, consulted, surveyed and explored problems related to drought, floods & pollution incidents; Carried out R&D in integrated water management to address the current and future impact of socio-economic and climatic changes; Provided sustainable and alternative solutions.
    • Developed and demonstrated innovative reclamation processes & package Bio Filter and grey water/runoff recycling systems (for 2 UK water companies – Anglian & Yorkshire Water). Monitored and analysed water quality, water demand & health impacts. Consultation to help SME on treatment
    • Supervised students’ research projects and taught on civil engineering and water based MSc, MEng and BSc courses (water resources planning, demand management, wastewater treatment, sanitation).
    • Secured research grant; presented and published papers; and networked and formed collaborations

    (Dr Surendran has developed Northwest Regional (England) and contributed to the National strategies and guidance for water resource planning, demand management projects, water supply-demand foresight and forecasts to encourage water abstractors and large users to manage our water resources and their supply/demand sustainably. Played a key role in development and implementation of Environment Agency’s water management foresights. He demonstrated his scenario modelling capability and played major role in supporting the Environment Agency to move from “supply (abstraction) management” to “supply-demand management (twin track approach).

    Suresh worked Research Associate during his part time PhD in Civil engineering department, Loughborough University. His research is “the Development of an in-house grey-water and rain water roof runoff reclamation and recycling system for large institutions”. Developed fully tested novel greywater reclamation process and a package recycling unit and a philosophy for water management)


    From Jan 1982 to Dec 1991 (10 years in) Urban and Rural Community Water Supply, Sanitation and Public Health Risk Management Projects and Programmes (WASH): worked as

    • Head of Investigation, Monitor & Studies, Water & Sanitary Engineer/ Field Coordinator for Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and National Water Supply and Drainage Board’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts, Sri Lanka.

    • Civil (Water & Environmental) Engineering Trainee in Worked in World Bank funded Greater Colombo water supply scheme; Finnish Government (FINIDA) funded Kandy water supply project (Large urban water supply projects) in Sri Lanka.

    Dr Surendran has

    • Led site investigation, water quality monitoring, water usage studies and sanitation survey.
    • Developed strategy for capacity building to operate and maintain the facilities at the local community, regional and national level. Developed appropriate technologies for water management
    • Led (In-charge of) the shallow well construction, Ground Water Supply programme and casting yard.
    • Supervised construction of village latrines, sustainable drainage; promoted and contributed to the public health programme and community participation activities.
    • Managed construction of gravity fed rural pipe water supply schemes with weirs, dams & reservoirs.
    • Trained in design, Estimating, Costing, Purchasing, Service Departments
    • Conducted site investigation, surveying, levelling; prepared bill of quantities; Supervised labourers
    • Supervised piling, deep earth excavation, carpenter, steel and concrete work, construction of urban water supply infrastructure – large water retaining /flood defence structures and pipe laying

     (During the post in DANIDA project in Sri Lanka as Head of Investigation, Monitoring and Studies and he conducted many research studies, produced reports to DANIDA Mission and trained local staff.

    Studied function, usage and impacts of water and sanitation facilities, Developed new design guidance for rural water supply & sanitation. Delivered pure water, proper sanitation, built capacity of staff and local volunteers to construct, operate and maintain water and sanitation facilities and contributed to a better quality of life for people in Sri Lanka. Encouraged sustainable development. Gained experience in major civil/water supply infrastructure construction and pipe laying projects).

     Dr Surendran is a dedicated and trained team leader managed large teams of staff and a good decision maker able to reform and direct and provide timely support, decision and direction. He has an established national and international profile of leading, developing planning organising and delivering quality cross-disciplinary Research and Innovation programmes and project within the time and cost with expected outcomes in water and environmental engineering. He is an international collaborator, a good co-ordinator has excellent networking, influencing, communication and negotiation skills with a pragmatic flexible approach to accommodate changes but achieve priority goal. He is known for taking a long term scientific view and being capable of developing and implementing comprehensive sustainable risk based system designs to solve future problems from blue skies to operation. Capable to transfer knowledge, tools and techniques across the boundaries. Proven ability to carry out research and enterprise activities independently or collaboratively with multidisciplinary groups on a variety of complex interdisciplinary topics within a multicultural environment.

    Has published over 75 papers in peer reviewed international journals, refereed conferences, chapters of books and 20 research reports.

    Vision Statement

    Allmajornatural (hydro-climatic-meteorologicaland geo-physical hazards) and manmade (technological accidental, unintentional or intentional) disasters are affecting people, thebuilt and natural environment.TheUN and the International disaster database (EM_DAT, 2017) indicatesthatduring the last 25 years, from 7500 reported hydrological (e.g. flood, erosion and related landslide) and climatic -meteorological (e.g. storm, extreme temperature and drought) disaster events, over 0.8millionpeople worldwidewerekilledandanother5.2 billion (109) peoplewereaffectedwith$1.9 trillion (1012)of tangible damage. In addition to this worldwide about 0.9 million deaths / year were caused by scarcity and limited access to safe drinking water and lack of adequate sanitation facilities (WHO, 2016). Therisksareexpectedtoincreasewith climatic, meteorological and hydrological, demographic (migration),socio-economic andenvironmentalchanges.The world requires more Environmental and Public Health Engineering research, innovation and development tomanagethese issues and risks and contribute to the sustainable developmentinour builtenvironment. These are keypriorities for all the countries aroundthe world.


    Therefore, my vision is to continue to research, innovate and developtools and techniques for hydro- climatic-meteorological risks assessment, foresight, option appraisal and decision support frameworks for managing disasters; developing processes and systems for decentralised but integrated water, waste and energy management by reduction, reclamation and recycling; and developing appropriate technology for humanitarian, emergency, rural and urban slum’s water supply and sanitation. This is to support UK and the world’s commitment for the UN’s post-2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, Paris Agreement 2016, under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015)


    My vision is also to continue to achieve national and international recognition in the area of “Water related Environmental and Public Health Engineering for Risk Resilience and Sustainable Development” to lower the impacts/ vulnerabilities and improve the resilience of the people and the built-environment. I have a desire to lead and enhance the external profile of Coventry University’s School of Energy, Construction and Environment’s academic courses and research centres research capabilities in “Water Engineering for Risk Resilience and Sustainable Development”.  I am very keen to play active role in EPSRC priority areas “Water Engineering” and “Engineering for Sustainability and Resilience” as well as H2020’s Societal Challenges “Secure societies - Disaster-resilience” and “Climate action, environment and resource efficiency and raw materials”.

    Education/Academic qualification

    Doctorate, Loughborough University


    MSc, Middlesex University


    Degree, Middlesex University


    Postgraduate Diploma, Loughborough University

    Jan 1990Jun 1990

    Degree, University of Moratuwa



    • TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
    • TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
    • TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
    • TH Building construction
    • GE Environmental Sciences
    • GB Physical geography
    • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
    • HD61 Risk Management
    • HA Statistics


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