Research Fellow, University of Ulster, Ireland
University of Ulster, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, BT37 0QB
Patrick is a Research Fellow based at the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) on the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus. His research focuses on materials science and the interaction of waterborne chemical and biological pollutants with nanostructured materials. Interests include water disinfection using solar energy (SODIS), development of nanostructured photocatalysts, design and construction of nano-membranes and filters and electrochemical sensors for waterborne pollutants.
He graduated with a 1st Class Hons degree in Applied Biochemical Sciences from UU in 1997 and was awarded a PhD in 2001. Since then he has worked within the School of Engineering on a number of collaborative EU funded projects investigating the efficiency of photocatalytic disinfection & the remediation of persistent organic pollutants in water. The goal of the research has been the development of pilot scale apparatus with recent attention has been paid to utilisation of solar energy. He has also been involved in the commercialisation of research receiving funding from InvestNI to investigate applications of photocatalysis in water purification and medical devices. Patrick has received a number of awards relating to commercialisation, winning the Investment Belfast 20K award in 2003 and “Clean Tech” category of the Northern Ireland Science Parks 25K competition in 2008.
He has published 20 papers, authored a chapter of book and presented research findings at more then 50 national and international conferences. He is a member of the Society of Chemical Industry and Institute of Biology, serving as Secretary to the Northern Ireland Branch since 2004.
Enhancing Solar Disinfection of Water for Application in Developing Regions.
This presentation will focus on the ongoing research being carried out as part of the EU funded SODISWATER project. The collaborative project investigates the application of solar disinfection (SODIS) as an effective and low cost water purification process suitable for use in water stresses countries with high levels of sunlight. The SODIS process is very simple, contaminated water is placed in a plastic container and exposed to sunlight for approximately 6 hours. Laboratory and field trials have demonstrated SODIS to effective against a wide range of waterborne pathogens with health impact assessments demonstrating significant benefits from consumption of SODIS treated water. Research at the University of Ulster has focused on enhancing the SODIS process by developing intellectual property based upon increasing the volume of water treated by SODIS, increasing the speed and efficacy of the disinfection process using nanostructured photocatalytic coatings (PC), and designing sensors to demonstrate to the user that the water is safe to consume. Large scale SODIS devices have been tested under Spanish sunlight and will undergo assessment in African communities in 2009. Small portable PC-SODIS devices have also been developed, treating 2 litres of water in less than an hour, for disaster relief situations. Members of the SODISWATER consortium are currently in discussion with a number of NGO’s and charity organisations in a bid to transfer the technology and/or products developed into routine use in African countries.