In the field of Water Science and Engineering, we are recognised internationally for our research, education, training and consultancy and attract outstanding students, academics, sponsors and partners worldwide. Read more Read less

We work in all aspects of water - whether it is helping to ensure safe, clean supplies for domestic consumption, assessing agricultural needs for food production, protecting and enhancing natural habitats or improving process engineering for manufacturing and industry.

We are also a founding member of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and provide the registered office and the Honorary Secretary for the UK Irrigation Association (UKIA).

Our activities are underpinned by world-class facilities, including a pilot-plant hall at our sewage treatment works, state-of-the-art soil and water laboratories, a grey water treatment pilot area, a managed borehole drilling site and soil and irrigation testing facilities.

About our research

Our research is largely applied and industry focused, helping to solve real problems for a diverse range of companies, government agencies and NGOs, both in the UK and overseas.

We have a large community of post-doctoral staff and researchers, making it the UK’s largest water-focused postgraduate group.

The high quality of our research was reflected in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, explaining why we are one of the UK’s top five research intensive universities. Our funding comes from the Research Councils, government agencies, consultancies, charities, the European Commission and industry, notably the water utilities.

Our facilities

Our research, consultancy and training activities are underpinned by world-class facilities and service resources that are unique to Cranfield. Recent investment has added an unparalleled environmental analytical facility for micropollutants and emerging contaminants in soil, waste, water and wastewater media.

We have:

• on-site sewage treatment works, with its own dedicated pilot-plant hall
• state-of-the-art clean water, fermentation, microbiology, wastewater and water chemistry laboratories that has extensive analytical services
• a containerised laboratory where grey water treatment pilot plants are stationed
• a managed borehole drilling site
• soil and irrigation testing facilities.

Working with us


We provide short-term feasibility studies, and develop strategic partnerships with clients so that they can access our expert knowledge and specialist advice. We also help companies to add value to their businesses, by leveraging funding from government departments and regional development agencies to develop or test new products and gain competitive advantage.

In addition to excellence in research and teaching, we provide consultancy and training services to business clients.

Our consultancy activities centre around problem solving – linking business needs to our expertise on water and sanitation, water policy, modeling, water and wastewater technology and risk management for the water sector. We run bespoke short courses and training programmes for businesses both in-house and on-site to help bring clients up to date with technical developments and management strategies.

Through our facilities and expertise we are in a strong position to support your organisation.

Clients and partners

In Government, our research clients include the Research Councils (eg. EPSRC) the Environment Agency, rural development agencies (eg. East of England Development Agency), the European Commission, Natural England, Defra, and DFID. Internationally, our clients include the World Bank, BP, Shell, Unilever, Veolia Water, the International Water Association, American Water Works Association, Keppel Seghers, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In the UK, we have research framework agreements with Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent Water and Anglian Water and strong research relationships with United Utilities, Southern Water, Affinity Water, Thames Water, South West Water and Northumbrian Water. We also carry out research for the industry levy boards such as the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.

In consultancy, our clients include the US Water Recycling Programme, Singapore Public Utilities Board, Hong Kong Drainage Services Department, various charitable organizations and NGOs, the Lloyds Register, US National Water Research Institute, Sentinel, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, the Environment Agency, Fera and McCain Foods.

We also run bespoke short courses and training programmes both in-house and on-site. Recent examples include a short course on water processes, technology and engineering for the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, training for regulatory officers in the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), water management training for the African sugarcane industry, and water and wastewater treatment training for Yorkshire Water.