Water and Wastewater Industry Committee

The water industry is a multi-million pound international business providing clean drinking water and treating wastewater with mechanical engineers having important roles in the design, installation, operation, maintenance and management of the associated treatment processes.

As such they are at the forefront of the industry's efforts to reduce energy and carbon and to improve living standards across the globe.

Who we are

The Water and Wastewater Industry Committee has been established to provide a focal point for mechanical engineers working in the industry and as a platform for sharing knowledge both within the Institution and with other similar organisations such as CIWEM and ICE.

Our main area of interest is the application of mechanical equipment in water/wastewater treatment process systems.

What we do

The Water and Wastewater Industry Committee provides a focal point for mechanical engineers working in the industry and a platform for sharing knowledge, both within the Institution and with other similar organisations such as CIWEM and ICE.

Our main area of interest is the application of mechanical equipment in water/wastewater treatment process systems.

Find out more about the other Process Industries Division TACs.

Industries represented

The water and wastewater industries include:

  • sludge treatment
  • waste handling
  • energy from waste
  • water distribution
  • water storage
  • pumping.

Our objectives

  • Liaise with internal Divisions and Groups, regions and external bodies to provide the Institutions focus within the Water Industry
  • Promote best practice
  • Provide a forum for the dissemination of information through events and publications
  • Support Institution members in their activities
  • Promote education, training and continuing professional development and seek opportunities to provide the Institution’s opinion on relevant water industry topics
  • Promote and judge the Filtration Prize

Committee members

Susan Robinson - Chair

Susan Robinson

Wood E&I

Susan is water and wastewater key specialty lead and staff manager in Wood E&I UK, ensuring the technical competence of staff, that procedures are fit for purpose and a consistently high standard of technical output.

She has over 30 years’ experience of technical leadership, project engineering, staff management and project management of multi-disciplinary engineering & environmental consultancy projects predominantly in the water and wastewater sectors. She is particularly fond of providing robust solutions to tricky problems in water abstraction, treatment and distribution.

Susan has been committed to professional development since starting her own career as a graduate on Severn Trent’s MPDS scheme in 1986. Since then she has developed and supported engineers’ professional development through her roles as staff manager, registered mentor (IMechE & IET) and OU engineering tutor. Susan has been FIMechE since 2003.

Darren Hollins - Immediate Past Chair

Sapere Aude Engineering 

Darren has been involved with the Institution since 2005, via the Young Members, the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Group before finally helping to form the Water and Wastewater Technical Advisory Committee.

He graduated from the University of Liverpool with a MEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering with Management in 2006 and has subsequently spent the last ten years working as a mechanical engineer within the water industry.

In 2013 Darren set up an independent consultancy where he has since been working with MWH and Severn Trent Water as the lead mechanical designer on the Birmingham Resilience Project.

Kevin Gaunt - Past Chair

Water Industry Consultant

Kevin joined the IMechE as a student member in 1978 and became a Chartered Engineer in 1993. He graduated with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Bradford University in 1981 having been sponsored and employed by GEC Machines. Following graduation Kevin took up a role as a Design Engineer with GEC and progressed to the post of Principal Engineer.

Kevin moved to Severn Trent Water in 1990 working initially as a Project Manager on both Water and Wastewater Capital Projects before moving into an Engineering Standards role with responsibility for the development and maintenance of STW’s Mechanical and Electrical Standards. He then returned to Capital Project delivery managing multi-disciplinary teams of electrical, mechanical and civil engineers following which he was appointed as the Engineering Standards Manager responsible for driving design standardisation and innovation throughout the Company.

Latterly, Kevin moved into an Operational role managing teams that provided technical, project improvement and budgetary support to front-line Wastewater Asset Managers.

Kevin set up and managed STW’s MPDS Programme for many years with responsibility for supporting graduate mechanical engineers seeking to become chartered. He also set up, established and is a past chair of the IMechE’s Water and Wastewater TAC.

Kevin left STW in February 2015 to set up his own Engineering Consultancy and now works for the Pump Centre as one of their Principal Consultants.

Philip Ashcroft BEng (Hons) CEng CEnv MIMechE MIET

Phil AshcroftRetired

Philip Ashcroft recently retired from his post as Principal Engineer - Senior Policy and Strategy Lead (Hard FM) within the Operational Productivity Directorate at NHS Improvement. Philip was responsible for all policy and parliamentary work relating to NHS Estates Hard Facilities Management (FM) service.

He was responsible for providing advice, guidance and support to Ministers, allied policy teams in NHS Improvement and to health and social care commissioners and providers in England on these and other healthcare engineering subject areas. He was also responsible for the monitoring of estates related defects and failures and the issuing of Estates and Facilities Alerts in England.

Philip was the project lead to update HTM 04-01: Safe Water in Healthcare Premises, the decontamination guidance documents (HTM 01-01 surgical instruments and HTM 01-06 flexible endoscopes), HTM 07-02 EnCO2de 2015, HTM 06-01 and the new CAMHS HBN 03-02. He also led on the project relating to the potential contamination of water distribution systems in augmented care units with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, culmination of the project being the publication of HTM 04-01: Addendum Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units.

Philip joined NHS Improvement on 1st February 2017 after the Estates function was transferred from the Department of Health. Prior to this transfer he held the role of Principal Buildings and Facilities Management Services Engineer at the Department of Health from March 2008 after 25 years with Yorkshire Water in various engineering roles. Philip also worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 4 years prior to his career in the water industry.

Philip is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, a Chartered Environmentalist and a Member of the Institute of Engineering Technology. He also sits on British Standards committees for BS 7671 "Requirements for Electrical Installations. IET Wiring Regulations and, the currently in production BS67000 Resilient Cities.

Jermaine Bernard BEng DIS CEng MIMechE


Jermaine BernardJermaine studied Mechanical Engineering with a Diploma in Industrial Studies at Loughborough University, graduating in 2001. He became a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with the IMechE in 2010 and, subsequently, has also become a Chartered Member of CIBSE and SoPHE.

Jermaine has over 17 years’ experience of working on multi-disciplinary infrastructure and buildings projects within various sectors, including utilities, energy, and waste. He has worked on both UK and overseas projects undertaking key design/consultancy roles, such as Contractors Responsible Engineer and Independent Certifier, and is currently a Principal Engineer for Arcadis.

His appreciation of both mechanical engineering within the water industry and public health engineering provides a broad perspective on water and wastewater. He is enthusiastic about promoting engineering and professional development, and is also a registered as an IMechE MPDS mentor.

David Booth CEng MIET

David Booth Mechanical Engineer, Black & Veatch

He graduated with a BEng in Mechatronic Engineering from Lancaster University in 2008. Following graduation David took up a role as a Graduate Design Engineer with Halcrow Group Limited. During his time at Halcrow David became EngTech registered.

David moved to the Environment Agency in 2012 as Mechanical Technical Specialist for the North West region providing technical expertise to large capital projects and project managing smaller pumping station refurbishments. He has worked alongside the National M&E team to develop the Agency’s Code of Practice for Mechanical Safety and National specifications. David developed the National frameworks for the delivery of Pumps and Control Panels. David is currently working on the Agencies Building Information Modelling (BIM) pilot project. During his time at Environment Agency he gained his Chartership status in 2016.

David moved to Bilfinger UK in 2019 as a Senior Project Engineer to manage multiple discipline design teams delivering projects in many different industries. David is currently a Mechanical Engineer at Black & Veatch.

Phil Churchill

Thames Water

Rob Grant

Associate Director, Atkins

Rob is an Associate director and Business manager of Atkins and leads a division of mechanical, electrical & process engineers. He is a chartered mechanical engineer and has been a Fellow of the IMechE since 2012.

Having graduated in 1994 with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from Newcastle University, Rob set out on a career in consultancy in the water industry. He worked with Haiste, Carl Bro, Halcrow, Grontmij before joining Atkins in 2013. He has a broad-ranging background in water and wastewater industry consulting engineering and project delivery.  He has directed, managed and undertaken feasibility, outline design and multidisciplinary detailed design projects ranging from £1k to £50M in capital value, as well as managing and directing small- and large-scale tenders for consultancy services. He has worked with and for many of the UK’s water companies and their Tier 1 contractors, and has delivered projects in the US, Channel Islands, Eire, Gibraltar and the Middle East.

James Ingram

Senior Mechanical Engineer, Southern Water

James graduated from Brighton University in 2011 with a MEng (Hons) degree and took a job as Graduate Mechanical Engineer with MWH (now Stantec) after completing a 2 year scholarship with the 4Delivery Joint Venture. Since 2016, James has worked for Southern Water as a Design Engineer on large capital projects, both on wastewater and more recently, clean water projects. James has been a chartered member of the IMechE since 2016 and has been a mentor to developing engineers at Southern Water as well as being the scheme administrator for the graduate training scheme.

Within the Southern Water mechanical team, James is the sludge equipment specialist, providing guidance on design, technical queries and updating the mechanical specifications.

Mark Norris CEng FIMechE

Technical Director, Black and Veatch International Ltd

Nikki Riches CEng MIMechE

Nikki Riches

Disinfection Design Manager – Capital & Commercial Services, Severn Trent

Nikki has been a member of the Institution since 2001, graduating from the University of Hertfordshire with a MEng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering. Nikki gained chartership in 2008 and continues to mentor and support the development of young engineers, she has been an active member of the IMechE Water and Wastewater Industries Committee since it started.

Nikki has worked in the Water Industry throughout her career for over 18 years. She has spent the past 10 years working at Severn Trent Water leading the Disinfection Capital Programme and is now Disinfection Design Manager.

Pamela Robinson

Pamela Robinson

Senior Mechanical Engineer - Atkins

Pamela is a senior mechanical engineer with Atkins and has worked for them for over 7 years. Whilst at Atkins she has worked for several water Clients across the country in both the clean and waste water sector. As well as working for the environment agency and other non-water based clients. Prior to Atkins she worked for Imtech process as part of the waste water capital delivery team for Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water.

Pamela graduated with a mastered in mechanical engineering from UMIST in 2002 and successfully gained chartership status in 2008. She mentors and develops other engineers to help them to gain chartered status. Pamela has been a member of the Process Industries Divisions North West Centre since 2008 and more recently a member of the Water and Wastewater Industry Committee since 2019.

Simon Whatley




Prizes and awards

The Committee provides nominations to Process Industries Division's prizes and awards

Get in touch

Have a question or would like to get involved?

Contact our Member Engagement Team

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