Research Perspectives - Tools for Visualisation of Portfolios
EPSRC logo

EPSRC Database

Source RCUK EPSRC Data

EP/G028958/1 - ROBUST:Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies

Research Perspectives grant details from EPSRC portfolio

Dr K Johnson EP/G028958/1 - ROBUST:Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies

Principal Investigator - Engineering and Computing Sciences, Durham University

Other Investigators

Professor CL Bambra, Co InvestigatorProfessor CL Bambra


Standard Research

Research Areas

Resource Efficiency Resource Efficiency

Sustainable Land Management Sustainable Land Management


Scott Wilson Scott Wilson

One NorthEast Regional Develop't Agency One NorthEast Regional Develop't Agency

Northumbrian Water Ltd Northumbrian Water Ltd

Newcastle City Council Newcastle City Council

NERC British Geological Survey NERC British Geological Survey

Health Protection Agency Health Protection Agency

Groundwork East Durham Groundwork East Durham

Environment Agency Environment Agency

English Partnerships English Partnerships

Durham Photonics Durham Photonics

Durham County Council Durham County Council

County Durham Primary Care Trust County Durham Primary Care Trust

Academy for Sustainable Communities Academy for Sustainable Communities

Start Date


End Date




Similar Grants

Automatic generation of similar EPSRC grants

Similar Topics

Topic similar to the description of this grant

Grant Description

Summary and Description of the grant

ROBUST stands for Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies. 'Brownfield' is land which has been previously developed, sometimes for industrial purposes, as opposed to 'greenfield' which has never been developed. Brownfield land is sometimes contaminated with industrial pollutants. The majority of new buildings in the 21st Century will be built on brownfield land as the Government is trying to preserve greenfield land. Many brownfield sites require the removal of industrial pollutants (remediation) before they can be redeveloped. Low-value (in commercial terms) brownfield land is often of less interest to property developers and only marginally polluted but these sites are often situated in the heart of communities and provide people's nearest countryside. For this reason, they may have a significant impact on people's health and wellbeing. ROBUST will engage with local communities to reclaim and remediate these low-value brownfield sites with the aim of improving the local environment and enhancing wellbeing.The sustainable technologies in ROBUST involve using 'waste' products from industry. The 'wastes' are actually valuable minerals which have excellent soil remediation properties; these minerals such as manganese oxide are already naturally present in soil and form a large part of the soil's natural defence system against man-made industrial pollution. These minerals will be added to the soil on brownfield land and will help transform organic contaminants such as petrol into harmless byproducts and immobilise any metal contaminants deep within the ground. Using 'waste' products means sending less to landfill and extracting smaller quantities of primary aggregates all of which makes our Society more sustainable.ROBUST will also develop a new piece of field equipment for quicker and safer data collection on contaminants at brownfield sites. We will be using the newly discovered far-infrared terahertz radiation to 'see' contaminants on site. This radiation is completely safe and has wavelengths just beyond visible light. Unlike other forms of radiation (such as ultraviolet radiation) terahertz is very good at identifying contaminants without any interference effects from the background soil. Not only will the new device revolutionise site investigation work, thereby saving the contaminated land industry hundreds of thousands of pounds (by reducing uncertainty about where to drill boreholes and where to remediate) but it will also allow a vast improvement in our understanding of how contaminants interact with minerals in soil. We are particularly interested in how brownfield land remediation technologies will react to various climate change scenarios such as flooding.Pilot studies of the sustainable technologies will be carried out in large Perspex cubic containers where the public will be able to observe a cross-section of the brownfield land (both the soil and the vegetated surface e.g. grass). Leachate generated by rain passing through the soil will tell us about how contaminants move within the soil. The improved data collection provided by the new terahertz field equipment will provide sufficient information to carry out detailed computer modelling of how the contaminants in the soil interact with the remediative mineral. The computer model will help to reduce uncertainty about both public and environmental health risks associated with brownfield regeneration as well as understand how the remediated soil will be affected by events such as flooding which are now happening more often due to climate change.ROBUST aims to work with local communities in a two-way exchange of information. Local communities often hold large quantities of information on brownfield land and can help engineers to understand what and where pollutants might be on site. Local communities can also help engineers understand their perceptions of the site and their ambitions for what end-use they envisage for the site.

Structured Data / Microdata

Grant Event Details:
Name: ROBUST:Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies - EP/G028958/1
Start Date: 2009-03-16T00:00:00+00:00
End Date: 2014-03-15T00:00:00+00:00

Organization: Durham University

Description: ROBUST stands for Regeneration Of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies. 'Brownfield' is land which has been previously developed, sometimes for industrial purposes, as opposed to 'greenfield' which has never been developed. Brownfield land is sometime ...