Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor of Subsurface Hydrology



+44 (0)20 7594 6122a.butler Website




Miss Judith Barritt +44 (0)20 7594 5967




232Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Published research is primarily associated with work on measuring, analysing and modelling subsurface flow and transport processes and their associated environmental impact. Particular areas within this context are:

  • Migration of radionuclides through soil and uptake by vegetation
  • Application of stochastic contaminant transport modelling to groundwater protection;
  • Development of new modelling techniques for environmental risk assessment;
  • Development of analytical/modelling tools for flow and transport in fractured rock;
  • Development of techniques for modelling nitrate behaviour in Chalk catchments.

Major contributions include: 

  • Development of new methods for investigating and modelling flow and transport (particularly nitrates) in permeable (fractured) catchments, in particular the Chalk of southern and eastern England;
  • Experimental and modelling investigations into recharge processes in the Chalk and their representation in catchment models;
  • Use of stochastic modelling techniques to represent the effects of uncertainty, arising from spatial heterogeneity, in groundwater protection;
  • Development of new techniques for modelling landfill biodegradation processes and their environmental impact;
  • Development of models for soil-to-plant transfer of radionuclides in connection with safety assessment for radioactive waste disposal.

Guest Lectures

Keynote Address: Drinking Water Salinity & Hypertension in Coastal Bangladesh, Government Research Seminar, icddr,b, Dhaka, 2020

Dave Burdon lectureTitle: Medical Hydrogeology: Lessons on groundwater and health from SE Asia, Irish Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, Dublin, 2017