Imperial College London

Professor Sue Grimes

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

RAEng Chair in Waste & Resource Management



+44 (0)20 7594 5966s.grimes




233Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Sue Grimes joined Imperial College in 2005 as Professor of Waste Management appointed to a chair sponsored by SITA and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Prior to her appointment in June 2005 she had been head of the Centre for Environmental Research at Brunel University where under her direction more than 500 environmental practitioners, scientists, technologists, regulators, consultants and managers, worldwide were trained to masters degree and doctorate level.

Her qualifications of a first class honours degree and a doctorate in Chemistry combined with an MBA bring a unique combination of skills to her environmental research and consultancy work.

Sue is an experienced research supervisor of academic and industrially-based projects and more than 60 doctorate degrees have been awarded to candidates supervised by her in environmental science, technology, environmental management, and waste and resource management.

Sue has published in excess of 120 papers in the scientific literature, was a lead member of the team that won the Institute of Wastes Management Millennium Prize the aim of which was to produce a waste management plan for London from 2000 onwards, a co-author of the CIWM's National Waste Regulation Award winning papers (2004) on the implications of 'Duty of Care' and industry compliance' and (2011) on ‘Extended producer responsibility for packaging wastes and WEEE - a comparison of implementation and the role of local authorities across Europe’; and author of a Lead Expert document entitled ‘Report on the Environmental Impacts of Recycling’ for the Bureau Internationale du Recyclage (BIR), Brussels October (2008). 

Within the College Sue is a promoter of Sustainable Production and Resource Efficiency encouraging inter-disciplinary activities to provide an holistic approach to meeting the challenges of the efficient creation of goods and services using processes and systems that conserve resources, maximise recovery, reuse and recycle and, minimise waste.

Of particular note this has led to the establishment in 2008 of a Knowledge Exchange Partnership between the Environment Agency, Defra, and Imperial College, which under Sue’s direction, engages in research initiatives in the areas of water quality, climate change, waste and resource management, health, etc. 

Sue’s research and consultancy activities encompass a range of projects in waste and resource management involving the electronics, food and beverage, secondary metals, and waste industries, the Environment Agency and Local Authorities.

The focus of her research is:

  • Recovery of value from waste (food, electronics, low grade ores and secondary materials) for conversion to commercially useful products
  • Closed loop methodologies towards resource efficiency
  • Decision support tools for sustainable waste management

Examples from her research portfolio, as funded by industry, government and private enterprises are found on the Research page.

Sue is a Director of Hopeman Associates Limited, a member of the Management Board of the ESKTN and serves on a number of committees within the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, Defra and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.



Velis CA, Wilson DC, Gavish Y, et al., 2023, Socio-economic development drives solid waste management performance in cities: A global analysis using machine learning., Sci Total Environ, Vol:872

Bruch J-R, Bokelmann K, Grimes SM, 2022, Process development options for electronic waste fractionation to achieve maximum material value recovery, Waste Management and Research, Vol:40, ISSN:0734-242X, Pages:54-65

Grimes SM, Maguire D, 2020, Assessment of priorities in critical material recovery from waste electrical and electronic equipment, Resources Policy, Vol:68, ISSN:0301-4207, Pages:1-10

Grimes SM, Ciuffa F, Cooper J, et al., 2018, Development of a vacuum-packing system for food waste from urban catering facilities, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Waste and Resource Management., Vol:171, ISSN:1747-6526, Pages:114-120

Grimes SM, Kewcharoenwong P, 2017, Dual-functionality ionic liquid mix for extraction and esterification of fatty acids as a step towards increasing the efficiency of conversion of waste cooking oils to biodiesel, Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, Vol:92, ISSN:0268-2575, Pages:2098-2105

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