UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Healthy Infrastructure Research Group (HIRG)

30 November 2016

Key facts

  • Funding Body/Client:  EPSRC 
  • Project Partners:  UCL Civil Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
  • Total Project Value: £ 1 million  
  • UCL/IEDE Project Value Share: £ 1 million 
  • Duration: 2009-2014

Our environment is unhealthy. The population is rapidly growing but we are running out of food, water and other precious resources. Disorganised urbanisation, pandemics and new diseases, climate change, global uncertainty and security problems are only a few of the challenges threatening our environment and humanity. Environmental health engineering fulfils a crucial role in helping to solve these problems.

Over 100 years ago, our department took a leading role in research and education of scientists and engineers to tackle water-borne pathogens. The development of water and wastewater engineering disciplines transformed the world and  we still benefit from this today. Can we transform the world one more time to tackle the new and emerging diseases in the 21st Century? How can we work with nature to optimise the value and function of urban infrastructure? How can we build a resilient, sustainable and secure city? 


PI: Kaman lai

Rs: Hector Altamirano and Jonathon Taylor 


The core of the research is to understand the science and engineering between people, pathogens and pathways within infrastructure, and apply this knowledge to build a healthy environment. In here, infrastructure is broadly defined as the physical environments, which are important to support the operation of a society. The project considered a cross section approach to study infrastructure in different contexts. 


HIRG will be an international hub for healthy infrastructure research and education. Our research will focus on the area of architecture and building engineering, environmental microbiology, technology and innovation, and people and behaviour. 


For further information please contact: Hector Altamirano