Queen’s University Belfast nets €3.5m for water quality research

Posted: Tuesday 30th March 2010

A Queen’s University Belfast research centre has netted a €3.5m grant from the European Union to fund research into improving water quality and quantity for future generations.

Queen’s Environmental Science and Technology Research Centre, known as QUESTOR, was awarded the grant under the ‘People’ Marie Curie Actions theme. Described by Professor David Bellamy at its launch, as a ‘bright light at the end of a dark tunnel’, QUESTOR is Europe’s only Industry/University Co-operative Research Centre.

The Centre conducts industry-driven research in the areas of water and wastewater treatment, remediation, waste management, renewable energy and sustainable technologies on behalf of member companies for an annual fee; these range from innovative local SMEs to multinational companies.

The new four year project, which will involve 16 researchers, will be co-ordinated by Dr Wilson McGarel, Director of QUESTOR, and will be known as “Advanced Technologies for Water Resource Management” (ATWARM).

Explaining the importance of the grant Dr McGarel said: “This project will address the technology gaps that prohibit the EU from achieving an integrated water resource management strategy. The performance and sustainability of water and wastewater treatment plants will be enhanced and the project will also lead to improvements in the quality of surface and ground water.”

Queen’s University will head up this project which will involve seven host organisations located in the UK, Ireland and Germany. The project is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), and will involve 14 PhD students and 2 post-doc positions.

Further information on QUESTOR which was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education is available at www.questor.qub.ac.uk

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