Contact Professor Sean Tyrrel

Areas of expertise

  • Environment and Health
  • Waste Management and Resource Efficiency
  • Water Science and Engineering


Professor Tyrrel holds a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology from the University of Leeds, an MPhil on the interaction of engineering and environmental factors on iron biofouling in boreholes from Cranfield University and a PhD on Land-based wastewater treatment, also from Cranfield University.

Professor Tyrrel is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Chartered Water and Environmental Manager (C.WEM).

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (FCIWEM) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He is also a Member of the Society of Applied Microbiologists and Member of the International Water Association.

Research opportunities

We have studentships available for the EPSRC Water-WISER Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) at Cranfield. The CDT is a collaboration between the universities of Leeds, Loughborough and Cranfield. A Water-WISER PhD offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the generation of new knowledge to improve water, waste, and sanitation infrastructure and services for the poorest and most marginalised members of our global community. If you are interested in a studentship opportunity, please contact me.

Current activities

Professor Tyrrel's research focuses on the application of environmental microbiology to the management of organic solid wastes and wastewater. He has over 30 years of research experience in this field and has secured and managed research contracts funded by NERC, EPSRC, WRAP, Defra, DFID and several water and waste management companies. He has an established track record in research at the interface between waste management practice, environmental microbiology, and human health.

Professor Tyrrel is a key contributor to an on-going programme of work related to the fate of pathogens in faecal waste residuals (such as sewage sludge and animal slurry) applied to agricultural land, funded by NERC, EU-FP7, United Utilities, and the Walsh Fellowship Programme. He has undertaken a series of projects for WRAP related to risk assessment of organics recycling in UK agriculture. Professor Tyrrel leads Cranfield's work on bioaerosol emission and dispersion from composting facilities and the implications of exposure to bioaerosols on human health.

He has been recognised nationally and internationally for this work through his appointment to the BSI Air Quality Committee and as UK principal delegate to the CEN committee on bioaerosol measurement. Professor Tyrrel is a Chartered Environmentalist and a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.


  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Environment Agency
  • Waste and Resources Action Programme
  • United Utilities Group PLC
  • Scottish Water
  • Severn Trent PLC
  • SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK Ltd
  • Renewi plc
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers