Photo of man wearing a white hooded top.

Mohammad Mahdi Kabiri

University of Warwick


Modelling Pollution transport in Constructed Wetlands


  •  Dr Soroush Abolfathi  

PhD Summary

This project aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the physical processes governing constructed wetlands. Wetlands, both natural and constructed, are complex systems of various decontamination mechanisms. Presently, conventional approaches to designing environmentally sustainable treatment systems rely on simple input-output methods in which wetlands are treated as blackboxes. As a result of this approach, constructed wetlands are prone to be designed in an inefficient manner and often their input to rivers can fail the water quality standards. This study aims to establish robust modelling framework for the design and operations of constructed wetlands, to facilitate the analysis of pollution transport dynamics within the intricate vegetated-flows of constructed wetlands. The outcomes of this project will enhance our understanding of the complex processes occurring within wetlands and provide valuable insights into the design and optimization of these systems. 

Previous activity

I am a Civil Engineer, with a background in the field of computational mechanics. I have developed numerical simulations and CFD codes during my undergraduate and Master’s studies. I developed SPH-LBM numerical model to study the sloshing wave forces under the effects of seismic loads. Following my MSc study, and prior to joining Warwick, I served as a research assistant where I studied flow and transport processes in complex vegetated flow boundaries.  

Why did you choose doctoral research?

Having grown up in a country that is prone to the most drastic impacts of the changing climate, such as prolonged drought and loss of valuable ecosystems, I was always interested in finding solutions to adapt and mitigate climate change related consequences, and reduce our carbon footprint. One of the heavily emitting industries that we are using daily, is water and utility, contributing significant emission during water and wastewater treatment processes. I am a big believer in the effectiveness of nature-based solutions and how we can robustly design nature-based solutions for transitioning towards a ‘net-zero’ society. Given my background in computational mechanics and my passion for solving grand environmental challenges, I decided to research how I can apply my modelling skills to better design and operate constructed wetlands as a complex form of nature-based solutions for water treatment 

Why did you choose CENTA?

CENTA offers a variety of high-quality research projects and training courses that make it an ideal option for me to improve my research and interpersonal skills. In specific, my project offers close collaboration and partnership with industry and NGOs which is very exciting opportunity for me to influence real-life problems. The placement opportunity with the Rivers Trust, will enable me to engage with the key stakeholders of my research and the research end-users which can provide me with a valuable learning opportunities. 

Future plans

I am interested in a research career and hoping that my doctoral studies will facilitate generating significant research impact and publication track records to help me with future academic career. CENTA provides me with the opportunity to actively engage in research and training activities in environmental sciences