Imperial College London

Professor Nick Voulvoulis

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Professor of Environmental Technology



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




103Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Nick Voulvoulis BSc (Hons) MSc DIC PhD DMS is a Professor of Environmental Technology and Deputy Head of Department at the  Centre for Environmental Policy. He has been working at Imperial College since 2000, when he was appointed as a Lecturer in Water Quality Management.  He was the Director of the world renowned MSc in Environmental Technology between 2005 and 2017, when he was promoted to professor.  

Professor Voulvoulis 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 processes and practices across many areas and diverse sectors. Through systems thinking, his work aims to facilitate the transition towards a Sustainable Circular Economy,  Net Zero, as well as  the sustainability transformation of urban water systems. 

Trained as an environmental scientist, and having chosen to work on topics which demand a measure of transdisciplinarity; he has developed a well formulated and articulated research agenda, and maintains a coherent research programme through several projects funded by research councils, international bodies and commercial and charitable organisations. The integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary nature of his work has allowed him to become a leading expert in the field of sustainability, delivering real impact through supporting  policy development, informing business practices and empowering people to engage in the transformational shift required for our society to reach sustainability.

cepimperialNick has published in some of the top journals in the field, and his H index is 47 (in Scopus)58 (in Google Scholar) and Hi-norm is 37.  He has superviced  25 PhD students and around 250 MSc students, many of whom have gone on to take up leading positions in the field.

Professor Voulvoulis is the academic lead from Imperial on its strategic research partnership with Anglian Water and has led the research collaboration with Veolia on the Circular Economy. He has also been a member of the Environment Agency Strategic Monitoring Review (SMR) Advisory Group. He is a member of the UK Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UKSDSN),  that mobilises UK knowledge institutions around practical solutions that contribute to the implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

bookCurrent research activities are exploring the sustainability of the Hydrogen economy (co-leads Imperial’s contribution to the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies Center (HyPT),  Global Resources Fragility (UN FAO), the role of the manufacturing of antibiotics in the proliferation of antibiotic resistance (NERC), the risks associated with combined sewer overflows on receiving waters (Anglian Water), the management of emerging contaminants (NERC), the fate of nanomaterials in wastewater (NERC), and delivering options for the Citcular Economy, to enable transition to a safer, Net Zero sustainable future.

Impacts to society, community participation in science and links between knowledge management and environmental behaviour are also important parts of his work -  for example,  as Director of the OPAL Soil Centre (2008-2012). In 2015, he was shortlisted for the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards, for the Environmental Pollution and Control module of the Core Course that introduced flipped learning.

He is the Associate Editor of Environmental Management, an international peer reviewed journal published by Springer.

The Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London
The MSc in Environmental Technology
Talk at the COP27 Side event on Tobacco's environmental impacts
Talk at the side event organized by FAO at COP15 of the UNCCD

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Giakoumis T, Voulvoulis N, 2023, Combined sewer overflows: relating event duration monitoring data to wastewater systems' capacity in England, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, Vol:9, ISSN:2053-1400, Pages:707-722

Wan Rosely WIH, Voulvoulis N, 2023, Systems thinking for the sustainability transformation of urban water systems, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Vol:53, ISSN:1064-3389, Pages:1127-1147

Voulvoulis N, 2022, Transitioning to a sustainable circular economy: the transformation required to decouple growth from environmental degradation, Frontiers in Sustainability, Vol:3, ISSN:2673-4524

Voulvoulis N, Giakoumis T, Hunt C, et al., 2022, Systems thinking as a paradigm shift for sustainability transformation, Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions, Vol:75, ISSN:0959-3780, Pages:102544-102544

Hunt C, Wilson HL, Voulvoulis N, 2021, Evaluating alternatives to plastic microbeads in cosmetics, Nature Sustainability, Vol:4, ISSN:2398-9629, Pages:366-372

Kioupi V, Voulvoulis N, 2020, Sustainable development goals (SDGs): assessing the contribution of higher education programmes, Sustainability, Vol:12, ISSN:2071-1050, Pages:6701-6701

Kioupi V, Voulvoulis N, 2019, Education for sustainable development: A systemic framework for connecting the SDGs to educational outcomes, Sustainability, Vol:11, ISSN:2071-1050, Pages:1-18

Voulvoulis N, Burgman M, 2019, The contrasting roles of science and technology in environmental challenges, Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, Vol:49, ISSN:1064-3389, Pages:1079-1106

Zafeiridou M, Hopkinson NS, Voulvoulis N, 2018, Cigarette Smoking: An assessment of tobacco's global environmental footprint across its entire supply chain, Environmental Science & Technology, Vol:52, ISSN:0013-936X, Pages:8087-8094

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

More Publications