My research explores private and public sector innovation strategies and practices in the water sector. This includes looking at whether innovation is constrained or enabled by regulation and policy, and at growing pressures for the global water sector to engage more with sustainability and climate change issues. More broadly, I also research the complicated and overlapping influences of policy, funding and organisational conditions on how science is performed in universities around the world. Here I look at how universities and university researchers develop strategies that facilitate or hinder whether they undertake potentially ‘breakthrough’ research, and at the processes of how their research may go on to be considered as ‘excellent’, ‘high quality’, and as having ‘impact’ in our world.
During the past 15 years I have advised a range of public and private sector water and wastewater utility organisations, and have been invited to undertake advisory and expert roles for the economic regulator of the England and Wales water sector (Ofwat), for departments and all-party groups of the UK Government, for divisions of the European Commission (EC), and for the International Water Association (IWA).
My key published works have been on ‘The Crisis of Innovation in Water and Wastewater’, and on ‘Barriers to Innovation in the UK Water Industry’. Since 2009 I have also been heavily involved with the popular water blog, Waterstink (