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School of Engineering and Computing Sciences (ECS)

Profiles

Dr Karen Johnson, BA Hons MSc PhD

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42441
Room number: E110 (Christopherson)

(email at karen.johnson@durham.ac.uk)

Biography

Karen Johnson is a lecturer in Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering at Durham University. Having trained as a hydrogeologist, graduating with an MSc from University College London in 1995, she worked in the water industry (General Utilities/consultancy) for 3 years. She returned to academia in 1998 and completed her PhD in mine water treatment with Professor Paul Younger in 2001 at Newcastle University (NU). She worked at Newcastle University as a Research Associate until coming to Durham University (DU) in 2005.

Karen’s research has a strong emphasis on using ‘wastes’ as resources. To date, much of her research has focussed on the passive treatment of contaminated waters and soils using ‘wastes’ such as secondary aggregrates in place of primary aggregates. Karen has a track record of multi-disciplinary projects collaborating both with industry, regulatory authorities science and social science departments. Karen has built up strong links with many science departments both at NU (School of Biology) and at DU (Depts of Chemistry, Biology and Earth Sciences) as well as at other national and international institutions. As PI, she has held or is currently holding funding for a number of recent projects:

EPSRC, £112K, 2003-5, First Grant GR/S49155/01, £112K (plus £15K industrial support from the Coal Authority), “The use of recycled construction/demolition and industrial waste as a substrate in a novel manganese removal passive treatment system” (project rated ‘tending to internationally leading’). Co-is included Prof Manning and Dr Singleton from Newcastle University

EPSRC, £48K (plus £12K), 2003-6. CASE for New Academics (Industrial support from Tarmac Ltd). Novel Uses for Basic Oxygen Steel Slag in Environmental Engineering Applications.

Industrial funding totaling, £112K, 2005-2011 (from BHP Billiton Ltd, Assmang Ltd and Scott Wilson Ltd to help support three EPSRC PhD students, two at Durham and one PhD at University of Stellenbosch in SA) to investigate the use of ‘wastes’ to treat contaminated land with Tony Hutchings (Head of Contaminated Land Team) from Forest Research (FR) as a co-supervisor;

EPSRC, £120K, 2005-8 and 2008-11, Doctoral Training Account money from SoE, DU for the two aforementioned DU PhD students;

Royal Society, £14K, 2006-7, New Investigators Grant, - £14K, “The use of manganese oxide as contaminated land remediation products” in conjunction with Dr Gonçlaves at University of Beira, Portugal;

Royal Society, £4K, 2008-9, Visiting Academic Grant, “The use of ‘wastes’ to treat land” for Dr Hu Liming from Tsinghua University, China, February – March 2008, another visit to be arranged for June 2009;

EPSRC, £450K, 2008-2011, (EP/E0441/17, joint with Newcastle University, DU share £350K),– “The use of manganese oxide as contaminated land remediation products”. Co-is include Dr Gray and Dr Davenport from Newcastle University

NESTA, £4K, 2008, Crucible award - Four training weekends to develop innovation and interdisciplinarity for Early Career Researchers

EPSRC, £1055K, 2009-15, (EP/G028958/1, Challenging Engineering Scheme) – ROBUST http://www.robustdurham.org.uk – Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies. Co-I includes Dr Bambra from Durham University.

Karen has developed fruitful collaborations with overseas academics (all Visiting Academics on current grants), in South Africa where she has established links with Dr Dowding at the University of Stellenbosch, in the US with Prof Tebo at Oregon University of Health and Science, Dr Amonette at US Dept of Energy and Dr Nordstrom from USGS. She is also a member of the EPSRC College from 2006-2009.

Currently, Karen teaches “Polluted Environments and Sustainability” and “Geology” to third year MEng students. Student projects in are frequently linked with industry including Tarmac http://www.tarmac.co.uk NWL http://www.nwl.co.uk/ and Terrainfirma Ltd http://www.terrainfirma.co.uk

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2011: Philip Leverhulme Prize in Engineering:
  • 2008: EPSRC Challenging Engineering Grant:
  • 2008: NESTA Crucible Award:
  • 2006: Collaborative research: Industrial support for research from International companies, Tarmac Ltd, BHP Billiton Ltd and Assmang Ltd totalling £126K. Relationship has been for 4, 2 and 1 years respectively.
  • 2006: External Examiner: External Examiner for PhD thesis (Birmingham) and for MPhil thesis (Aberdeen).
  • 2006: Invited Lecturer: Invited lecturer at Newcastle University and at Herriot Watt University
  • 2006: Invited member of UKRC Networks: Invited member of EPSRC Industrial Symbiosis Network and of NERC Fluorescence Spectrophotometry Network
  • 2006: Member of EPSRC College: Invited member of the EPSRC College from 2006-9

Selected Publications

Journal papers: academic

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Supervises