Dr Tanja Radu


  • Reader in Environmental Engineering
  • WEDC Group Lead

Research and expertise

Summary of expertise 

  • Energy from waste
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Water quality
  • Renewable energy
  • Biogas for rural communities, anaerobic digestion
  • Soil and water pollution
  • Water and sanitation for developing countries
  • Inter-disciplinary research that addresses the water-energy-food security nexus

Current research activity 

  • 2024-2026 Safely transforming phytoremediation crops into bioenergy, Innovate UK Energy Catalyst 10, partnership with Terra Power (UK), Nexus3 (Indonesia), Zest Consulting (UAE)
  • 2023-2024 Algae-based biogas purification for carbon-negative biomethane fuel production, IDRIC, partnership with Chemical Engineering Department Loughborough, Manchester University, Heriot-Watt University
  • 2023-2026 Cold Plasma Assisted Resource Recovery from agri-food Industry Wastes (Spark GREEN), Alliance of International Science Organisations (ANSO), partnership with Belgrade University (Serbia), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (China)

Recently completed research projects 

  • 2023 Food systems: Unlocking renewable energy potential of lignocellulosic wastes from food production, partnership with Chemical Engineering Department Loughborough
  • 2019 Algae-based biomethane fuel purification and carbon sequestration: an integrated approach, Supergen/EPSRC, partnership with Chemical Engineering Department Loughborough
  • 2017-2019 Technical Integration of Sustainable Energy and Water (TISEW), British Council, Partnership with CREST Loughborough University and University of Bahrain (Bahrain)
  • 2016-2018 Community scale, decentralised anaerobic digestion for energy and resource recovery, British Council Newton Fund Institutional Links grant Partnership with Asian Institute of Technology AIT (Thailand)
  • 2018 PhytoPower: Safely transforming mercury phytoremediation crops into bioenergy, Supergen/EPSRC Partnership with Terra Power (UK)
  • 2015 Remote autonomous monitoring of Anaerobic Digestion, Supergen/EPSRC 

Recent publications

  • Almansa, XF, Starostka, R, Raskin, L, Zeeman, G, De Los Reyes, F, Waechter, J, Yeh, D, Radu, T (2023) Anaerobic digestion as a core technology in addressing the global sanitation crisis: Challenges and opportunities, Environmental Science & Technology, ISSN: 0013-936X. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c05291
  • Liu, M, Hao, Z, Radu, T, Leng, X, Lu, H, Wang, L (2023) Evaluation method for restoration effect of different sections of small and medium-sized rivers: A case study of the Qingyi River, China, Environmental Research, 236 (Part 1), 116797, ISSN: 0013-9351. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.116797
  • Roy, U, Wagner, J, Radu, T (2023) Production of metabolites in microalgae under alkali halophilic growth medium using a dissolved inorganic carbon source, Waste and Biomass Valorization, 14(10), ISSN: 1877-2641. DOI: 10.1007/s12649-023-02053-3
  • Sreenivas, R, Coskuner, G, Khan, AM, Aloqab, W, Albuflasa, H, Radu, T (2022) Assessment of public awareness and opinions toward waste minimization through a survey in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, DOI: 10.15640/jaes.v11n2a4
  • Radu, T, Smedley, V, Yadav, D, Blanchard, R, Rahaman, SA, Salam, A, Visvanathan, C (2022) The design, development and assessment of a novel de-centralised IoT-based remote monitoring of a small-scale anaerobic digester network, Journal of Energy and Power Technology, 4(4), 039, ISSN: 2690-1692. DOI: 10.21926/jept.2204039
  • Wami, M, Fisher, J, Akpilla, S, Radu, T (2022) Current water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions in selected schools in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, International Development Planning Review, 44(4), pp.435-455, ISSN: 1474-6743. DOI: 10.3828/idpr.2022.6
  • Liu, M, Li, T, Wang, Z, Radu, T, Jiang, H, Wang, L (2022) Effect of aeration on water quality and sediment humus in rural black-odorous water, Journal of Environmental Management, 320(2022), 115867, ISSN: 0301-4797. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.115867
  • Okoligwe, O, Radu, T, Leaper, M, Wagner, J (2022) Characterization of municipal solid waste residues for hydrothermal liquefaction into liquid transportation fuels, Waste Management, 140, pp.133-142, ISSN: 0956-053X. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2022.01.026
  • Roy, U, Radu, T, Wagner, J (2022) Hydrothermal carbonisation of anaerobic digestate for hydro-char production and nutrient recovery, Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 10 (1), ISSN 2213-3437, DOI: 10.1016/j.jece.2021.107027


I contribute to learning and teaching activities across the School programmes including:


  • CVA101 Professional Skills (Module leader)
  • CVB101 Open Channel Flow Design and Analysis
  • CVC109 Water Resources, Sustainability and Climate Change


  • CVP431 (DL) Water and the Natural Environment (Module leader)
  • CVP416/CVP436 (DL) Urban Sanitation Management
  • CVP419/CVP443 (DL) Urban and Rural Sanitation Engineering
  • WSD536, WSP036 Biomass 1

Postgraduate Research


  • Dr Meleruchi Wami, PhD student (1st Supervisor, co-supervised with Rebecca Scott) completed in 2023
    Project: Water, sanitation and handwashing assessment and determination of critical risk factors for diarrhoea among pre-schoolers and students
  • Dr Onyieche Okoligve, PhD student (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Jonathan Wagner and Mark Leaper) completed in 2023
    Project: Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals from Integrated Conversion of Biowastes


  • Pranesh Karthikeyan, current PhD student (2022-2025) (1st supervisor, co-supervised with Hemaka Bandulasena)
    Project:  Renewable energy from waste: Plasma-assisted pre-treatment of organic fraction of municipal solid waste and agricultural residues for enhanced biogas generation.
  • Liaquat Ali Shah, current PhD student (2023-2026), (2nd supervisor, co-supervised with Qiuhua Liang)
    Project: Nature-based solutions for flood risk management in Pakistan  
  • Rebecca Lewis, current PhD student (2019-2024), (1st supervisor, co-supervised with Rebecca Scott)
    Project: Infrastructure and Services for Greywater Management in LMICs


I am an internationally engaged academic with the vision of developing the sustainable, low-carbon water-food-energy nexus for a climate-resilient future. I have more than 15 years of international experience in environmental engineering.

My research is focused on: 
(1) the provision of renewable energy, clean water and unpolluted environment for underserved communities, and 
(2) engineered solutions for low-carbon fuels, integrated with waste management, valorisation and resource recovery.

I have established a strong network and international reputation in these areas and have collaborative cross-disciplinary research projects and publications with academics, industries and NGOs from across the Globe. I am involved in a range of international projects providing small-scale, decentralized sustainable energy generation. In addition, I have broad experience in studying heavy metal transport phenomena. For example, I am involved in research on mercury phytoremediation and removal, coupled with renewable energy provision for underserved communities. My research collaborators include academics and industries from the UK, Indonesia, UAE, Tanzania, Thailand, India, China, Bahrain, and across Europe.

Academic and professional history:

  • 2024-present Reader in Environmental Engineering, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University
  • 2022-2024 Senior Lecturer in Water Engineering, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University
  • 2018-2022 Lecturer in Water Engineering, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University
  • 2017-2018 Lecturer of International Relief, Water Supply and Sanitation Engineering, WEDC, Loughborough University
  • 2012-2017 Research Associate, School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University
  • 2006- 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow, Project Manager, National Centre for Sensor Research, Dublin City University, Ireland
  • 2001 – 2007 Research Assistant, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA

Professional affiliations

  • FHEA

External activities

  • Member of the UKRI Talent Peer Review College 2023
  • Trustee of the British Scholarship Trust, 2023-present, Role: selecting international recipients of the BST Scholarship in science/engineering areas; https://www.britishscholarshiptrust.org/trustees/

Key collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • Nexus 3, Indonesia (NGO)
  • WaterAid Bangladesh
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Inteliports (industry)
  • Delcraven Limited (industry)
  • Recycled Plant Nutrients (industry)
  • Biffa Waste Management
  • Severn Trent Water
  • Department for Transport, UK
  • Terra Power Ltd., UK
  • Zest Associates, UAE
  • Manchester University, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science
  • Lincoln University
  • University of Bahrain, College of Science- Department of Physics, Bahrain
  • Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand