Cranfield University and Severn Trent’s strategic partnership has been named one of the ‘top 100 corporate-academic partnerships’ in the world by leading international academic journal, Nature.

The relationship between the University and one of the UK’s leading utilities companies is showcased in the ‘Nature Index 2018: Earth and Environmental Sciences’. The recognition reflects the scientific and academic output of the relationship.

Cranfield’s strategic partnership with Severn Trent has been in place for over seven years, and covers multiple areas of the utility’s business including working together to address the issues of phosphorous removal from wastewater and anaerobic digestion for the purpose of reducing carbon footprint.

The partnership was also recently showcased in the National Centre for Universities and Business ‘State of the Relationship Report 2018’ which assesses the health of partnerships between business, higher education institutions, UK government, and their agencies.

Professor Paul Jeffrey, Director of Water at Cranfield, said: “We are very proud of the work that our academics and research students are doing to support Severn Trent deliver more resilient and sustainable water and wastewater services. The partnership makes use of several of our world-class test facilities and offers genuine opportunities for staff and students to co-produce knowledge with a partner who plays a critical role in protecting a vital natural resource. The success of the partnership evidences the commitment of both parties to the role which science can play in driving innovation.”

Keiron Maher, Innovation Manager at Severn Trent, said: We have a number of key challenges – delivering safe drinking water, treating wastewater to excellent environmental standards, and reducing our carbon footprint - which is both more environmentally friendly and economic for our customers.

“Cranfield’s technical know-how and depth of understanding is impressive. It’s not just about science, however; it’s their translation of science that is so beneficial for us.”


Dr Marc Pidou, Olga Murujew and Dr Yadira Bajan-Fernandez at Cranfield's pilot hall
Dr Marc Pidou, Olga Murujew and Dr Yadira Bajon-Fernandez at Cranfield's pilot hall

About Cranfield University

Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.

Cranfield Water

Cranfield has over 40 years’ experience in the sector and we are recognised internationally for our work in the science, engineering and management of water. 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 have strategic partnerships with the Department for the Environment, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent and Anglian Water.

Our activities are underpinned by world-class facilities, including a pilot-plant hall at the University’s own 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.

We are a founding member of Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP); it is estimated that, to date, it has helped provide over one million people with clean drinking water, and some 400,000 with improved sanitation.

In 2015, we were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our education and research into safe water and sanitation for the world's poorest communities.