Contact Dr Heather Smith

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental Policy
  • Water Science and Engineering


Dr Smith holds a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Science from the University of Alberta (Canada). After completing her degree, she worked as a researcher for a Canadian NGO, where she was involved in a multi-stakeholder process for developing and implementing watershed (catchment) planning in Ontario.

Heather then obtained her MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, for which she studied how a growing understanding of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) could help remote mountain communities in Nepal reduce their vulnerability to these catastrophic events.

Heather completed her PhD at the University of Aberdeen, where her research focused on the Scottish land use planning system, and on developing recommendations to improve its emerging relationship with river basin management planning, as required under the European Water Framework Directive. She joined Cranfield University in August 2011.

Current activities

Heather's research explores the governance, institutions and societal dimensions of the water and wastewater services sector. She is particularly interested in the relationship between governance and resilience. Recent projects have examined the emergence of new technologies and approaches in the sector, such as water recycling and resource recovery, and how these fit with existing governance frameworks and the perceptions of end users. Her research adopts an interdisciplinary perspective, particularly at the boundary between social science and engineering.


FP7, Horizon 2020

Thames Water

Scottish Water




Yorkshire Water


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers