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





Examples from Sue research portfolio, as funded by industry, government and private enterprises, include:

  • Development of methods to extract key value components from waste for conversion to products of commercial value;
  • Use of ionic liquids to separate food waste into distinct fractions for the synthesis of chemicals and biofuels;
  • Use of novel solvents in the recovery and separation of metals from low-grade primary sources and wastes;
  • Delivery of research solutions (for excavated materials) towards sustainable waste management in the oil and gas industry;
  • Development of tagging methodologies for recycle of post consumer wastes and sustainable  alternative packaging derived from renewable resources;
  • Development of novel concentrator cell technology for the recovery of metals and simultaneous destruction of organics;
  • Development of management tools for use by the Environment Agency on emissions from landfill to groundwater and the atmosphere;
  • Development and application of benchmarking tools to assess energy and carbon savings in secondary metal recovery operations; and
  • Development of a commercial engineered closed loop in-vessel composting system for a total food waste treatment, which, in partnership with her industrial sponsor, Imperial Machine Company Limited, has led to the deployment of the technology solution at more than 50 sites within the UK and overseas and the installation of a  World 1st Technology Solution the CompPod, at Imperial College, which has led to national awards for the College for innovation and sustainability in 2010 and 2011. 

Examples of recent grants include:

  • NERC Resource Recovery from Waste Catalyst grant - Transition of WEEE to the Circular Economy (2013)
  • TSB Collaborative High Value Manufacturing Programme - Selective Extraction of Valuable Food Processing Components using ionic liquids (EXCIL)  2009-2012
  • EA/Defra/IC Knowledge Exchange Partnership - collaborative research in areas of water and waste  - 2008
  • SIMS Metals Management Ltd - Contribution of Secondary Materials to a Low Carbon Economy, 2011

Recent Completed PhD Theses:

  • Thompson, F (2013). Use of Ionic Liquids as A Means of Recovering Value from Key Organic Waste Streams in Nigeria 
  •  Castillo Castillo, A (2012). Enhancing Resource Effectiveness: An Environmental and Economic Analysis of Thermal and Biological Treatment of Discarded Material
  • Kewcharoenwong, P (2012). Value Recovery from Organic Waste
  • King,T P (2011). Sustainable Packaging in the Healthcare Industry
  • Gooding, A. (2011). Material Solubility in, and Rapid Synthesis of, Ionic Liquids as a Step Towards Efficient Value Recovery from Waste
  • Iti, O.L. (2010). Ionic Liquids for Microwave-assisted Processing of Biomass Waste
  • Cebrian Gomez, M.G. (2009). Environmental Impacts and Material Recovery from Biodegradable Waste“
  • Abbe, O.E. (2009). Recovery of Value from Oil Drill Cuttings - A Sustainable Waste Management Solution for the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Industry


External reviewer of Professorial Appointments in Sustainable Energy Systems and Environmental Engineering, University of Oulu, Finland, 2016

External Evaluator for the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme, The Irish Research Council, 2016

External Reviewer and Member of the Assessment Committee for DTU – Reviewer of Professorial Appointments, Technical University of Denmark, 2015

Established Annual bursary fund of £5K per annum, for EWRE MSc students, Worshipful Company of Water Conservators, 2012 - 2020