Michael graduated from the University of Oxford in 1997 with a M.Eng., specialising in civil engineering. He then worked for Fugro Limited in Hemel Hempstead for nearly three years as part of the offshore engineering division. There, he gained experience in site investigation (onshore, nearshore and offshore), offshore foundation design, finite element analysis and scale model testing. He then returned to the University of Oxford as a research assistant and to study for a D.Phil in geoenvironmental engineering, supervised by Professor Gilliane Sills at the Department of Engineering Science and Dr Ian Thompson at the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. His thesis title was ‘The use of electrokinetics to enhance the degradation of organic contaminants in soils’ and involved laboratory experimentation in both the engineering and microbiological fields.
In 2003, Michael joined the Engineering department at the University of Cambridge as a research associate, working as part of the SUBR:IM (Sustainable Urban Brownfield Regeneration: Integrated Management) research consortium. His project was entitled ‘Robust sustainable technical solutions to contaminated brownfield sites’. This work involved developing and applying a research tool to assess and compare the technical and environmental sustainability of various remediation technologies, and then identifying and investigating potential improvements in laboratory studies. This laboratory work included investigations into combining bioremediation with stabilisation/solidification. Further work involved using magnetic resonance imaging as a tool in environmental systems, to track the uptake of lithium by poplar growing in soil. Whilst in Cambridge he was also a Fellow in Engineering at Robinson College, University of Cambridge.
Michael’s interests primarily lie in experimentation into problems of contaminated land. Specific areas of interest are bioremediation (particularly its implementation in situ) and electrokinetics as a tool for manipulating contaminants within the soil. He also has an interest in the implementation of more sustainable remediation techniques.