Dr Virginia Stovin

University of Sheffield


I was appointed a lecturer at the University of Sheffield in 1995, after spending the previous three years as a research assistant in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering. Originally a Geography graduate from the University of Manchester, my current research focuses on Urban Stormwater Management and Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). I am specifically interested in the technical performance of SuDS (particularly green roofs and ponds) and on strategic SuDS retrofitting. My work is aimed at understanding the processes that control the quantity and quality of urban runoff in order to develop fit-for-purpose models of those processes and generate novel strategies to enable stormwater to be managed more effectively/sustainably. The work embraces fundamental science (hydrology, hydrodynamics), and has strong practical relevance. Recent highlights have included

  1. my involvement in an EU-funded industry-academia collaborative project on 'Green Roof Systems' aimed at understanding and optimising the hydrological functioning of green roof systems; and
  2. my involvement in a study to consider SuDS retrofit options as an alternative to the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Other ongoing work focuses on the use of computational fluid dynamics to optimise the design of combined sewer overflows and other sewer ancillary structures. This requires both the flow field and pollutant transport (sediment or solute) to be accurately modelled, in three-dimensions and in response to time-dependent inputs. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with Ian Guymer at the University of Warwick, and we currently have EPSRC funding to understand and model the effects of vegetation on flow and solute transport in vegetated stormwater ponds.

I have been involved in the successful supervision of 12 PhD students and my research has resulted in the publication of more than 30 refereed journal papers. I am responsible for the introduction of two 'environmental awareness' modules into the Department's core undergraduate teaching programme, and has previously taught hydrology, construction planning and risk assessment.

Dr Virginia Stovin