Imperial College London

Professor Nick Voulvoulis

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Professor of Environmental Technology



+44 (0)20 7594 7459n.voulvoulis Website




Mr Samuel McNeil +44 (0)20 7594 7398




103Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Nick Voulvoulis BSc (Hons) MSc DIC PhD DMS is a Professor of Environmental Technology at Imperial College’s Centre for Environmental Policy. He is an international expert in environmental management, especially where science and engineering interface with public policy. His research targets the interactions and interdependencies between human and natural systems and focuses on environmental systems and processes across many areas and diverse sectors. It is really about the application of science to solve environmental problems and sustainability challenges, in other words technology in its original meaning. The main areas he works on, include: Water Technology and Management, Environmental Pollution and Health, and Resources Management.

cepimperialMy work has explicit policy relevance; fundamental science and/or engineering content; and clear social/economic implications, all three integrated in a rigorous and innovative way to deliver valuable policy insight.   My work has been published in some of the top journals in the field, and my H index is 36 in Scopus and 42 in Google Scholar (September 2018). More than 20 PhD students and more than 200 MSc students have graduated under my supervision, many of whom have gone on to take up leading positions in the field.

Growing demand for policy choices, organisational management and professional practice to be underpinned by rigorous research has enabled funding for my work from a wide range of bodies. My research is “designed” to be taken up and used, or to improve public policy, enhance public services and contribute to the quality of public debate. It has directly influenced policy and industrial practices but also in more subtle ways, changed understanding and attitudes to environmental issues.

Although common belief is that excellence in interdisciplinary research comes with excellence in its components (disciplines involved), in most of the cases this is not enough in itself to produce research outputs that are excellent or useful. Keeping in mind the complexity of environmental systems and their nature, which is also transdisciplinary, my research has been focusing on delivering excellence on the links between the disciplines, developing ways that interdisciplinary research can reach its full potential. Having chosen to work on topics which demand a measure of transdisciplinarity, it is a well formulated research strategy and a well-articulated research agenda that enable me to maintain a coherent research programme by linking several different specific projects.

I coordinate Imperial’s research partnership with Anglian Water and lead the research collaboration with Veolia. I also sit on the Environment’s Agency Strategic Monitoring Review (SMR) Advisory Group and advise the European Commission on issues related to the Water Framework Directive and the the Circular Economy.

bookCurrent research activities are exploring the potential of systems thinking in water policy (GLOBAQUA), investigating the fate of nanomaterials in wastewater (NANORISK), developing tools to address the conflicting demands of the water-energy-food nexus (AW programme), and delivering options for “closing the loop” in resources management (Veolia programme), to enable transition to a safer, circular and sustainable future. Impacts to society, community participation in science and links between knowledge management and environmental behaviour are also important parts of my current work (for example as Director of the OPAL Soil Centre).

I am Associate Editor of Environmental Management, an international peer reviewed journal published by Springer, and also sit on the Editorial Board for AIMS Environmental Science and for Environmental Nanotechnology, Management  and Science. 

I was the Warden of Southwell and Bernard Sunley Hall till July 2014 and the Chairman of the Imperial College Wardens' Committee from 2003-2011.

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Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Kirkman R, Voulvoulis N, 2017, The role of public communication in decision making for waste management infrastructure, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol:203, ISSN:0301-4797, Pages:640-647

Voulvoulis N, Arpon KD, Giakoumis T, 2017, The EU Water Framework Directive: From great expectations to problems with implementation, Science of the Total Environment, Vol:575, ISSN:0048-9697, Pages:358-366

Manap N, Voulvoulis N, 2016, Data analysis for environmental impact of dredging, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol:137, ISSN:0959-6526, Pages:394-404

Voulvoulis N, 2015, The potential of water reuse as a management option for water security under the ecosystem services approach, Desalination and Water Treatment, Vol:53, ISSN:1944-3994, Pages:3263-3271

Singh K, Oates C, Plant J, et al., 2014, Undisclosed chemicals - implications for risk assessment: A case study from the mining industry, Environment International, Vol:68, ISSN:0160-4120, Pages:1-15

Emanuelsson MAE, McIntyre N, Hunt CF, et al., 2014, Flood risk assessment for infrastructure networks, Journal of Flood Risk Management, Vol:7, ISSN:1753-318X, Pages:31-41

Vlachopoulou M, Coughlin D, Forrow D, et al., 2014, The potential of using the Ecosystem Approach in the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive, Science of the Total Environment, Vol:470, ISSN:0048-9697, Pages:684-694

Voulvoulis N, Skolout JWF, Oates CJ, et al., 2013, From chemical risk assessment to environmental resources management: the challenge for mining, Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Vol:20, ISSN:0944-1344, Pages:7815-7826

Voulvoulis N, 2012, Water and sanitation provision in a low carbon society: The need for a systems approach, Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Vol:4, ISSN:1941-7012

More Publications