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Kiran Tota-Maharaj - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Kiran Tota-Maharaj

Reader in Civil and Environmental Engineering | Aston University


Dr Tota-Maharaj’s areas of expertise include wastewater treatment using microbial fuel cells with bioelectricity production.



Dr Tota-Maharaj is a Reader in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Water & Environmental Engineering) at Aston University Birmingham. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and a Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (FICE), a Fellow of the Institute of Water (FIoW), a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (M.ASCE), a member of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK (FHEA). Dr Tota-Maharaj is a Visiting Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Institute of Advanced Research (IAR) Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India and a Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Engineering and Bioengineering within the Bio & Circular Economy Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Tampere University, Finland.

Having gained a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering (accredited by the IMechE for CEng with Further Learning) from the University of the West Indies and an MSc in Environmental Engineering (accredited by the JBM as a technical masters & CIWEM) from Newcastle University, UK, Kiran moved into industry working for some of the largest Caribbean engineering consultancies. This allowed him to gain significant insight and experience across various aspects of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering (including, Water & Wastewater Engineering) from the tendering stages, inception, project designs, construction phases to post-completion of water and wastewater infrastructural projects. Thereafter, Kiran was awarded an industrial funded PhD programme at the University of Edinburgh, and subsequently entered the realm of academia.

Prior to joining Aston University, Kiran was the Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE Bristol), a Senior Lecturer in Water and Environmental Engineering at the University of Greenwich, a Lecturer in Environmental Engineering at Abertay University Dundee and a Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Salford Manchester.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Wastewater Engineering

Civil Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Environmental Engineering

Accomplishments (1)

International Water Engineering conference- WATEF 2022, (professional)

Organised and chaired an International Water Engineering conference- WATEF 2022, the 7th Water Efficiency Conference held at the University of the West Indies https://www.watefnetwork.co.uk/watefcon2022

Education (4)

University of Salford: PG Cert 2011

University of Edinburgh: PhD 2010

Newcastle University: MSc 2005

University of the West Indies: BSc 2004

Affiliations (1)

  • Chartered Engineer (CEng), MIMechE, FICE, M.ASCE, FIoW, MIAHR, FHEA

Media Appearances (3)

Desalination: A solution to water shortage

The Kathmandu Post  online


Clean freshwater is critical for sustaining human life. However, 1.1 billion people lack access to it worldwide. Desalination represents an increasingly popular way of addressing this. Desalination is the process of extracting salt from saline water to make it drinkable. There are two main types of desalination.

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How to Prevent Another European Transport Meltdown

Wired UK  online


Of course, many parts of Europe regularly see temperatures above 27 degrees, and manufacture their rails to work within warmer temperature windows. However, if rails in places like the UK are replaced with those suited to hotter climates, they may not be able to withstand the low temperatures of winter. Steel contracts and becomes brittle when exposed to the cold, meaning rails may crack if put under pressure when it’s colder than their operating window. “It’s a very tricky situation, because the temperature ranges are far wider in countries like the UK,” says Kiran Tota-Maharaj, reader in civil and environmental engineering at Aston University in Birmingham.

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Independent monitoring of govt infrastructure projects critical–experts

Trinidad & Tobago Guardian  print


UK-based, Trinidad-born chartered engineer and academic Dr Kiran Tota-Maharaj, who chaired a conference on water management at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, last week, told the Sunday Guardian that people or companies who get state contracts should have those projects monitored independently by professional associations to prevent corruption and waste of taxpayers’ money. President of the Association of Professional Engineers of T&T (APETT) Dr Chris Maharaj agreed with Tota-Maharaj, saying that APETT has over 1,000 members, and they are willing to assist the Government and contractors who undertake public infrastructure work in ensuring that quality work is done within time.

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Articles (3)

A Coherent Approach of Statistical Modelling to address the behavioural status of water consumption and available water resources for semi-urban areas in Southeast Asia

Gaz, Woda i Technika Sanitarna

2022 This study analysed recent water resources and water consumption datasets from semi-urban towns in the South Asian country of Sri Lanka. It presents a comprehensive assessment of behavioural status of water consumption over the past 5 years taking into consideration the impact on rainfall, precipitation patterns and temperature fluctuations. The findings provide important information on residential demand management and the threshold of consumption by residential users to apply in decision making process. Furthermore, this information informs policymakers, the water authority, and consumers not only in Sri Lanka, but across Southeast Asia and globally on critical water infrastructure, sustainable water resources and the applications of water forecasting for similar developing countries. The present observations contribute to the usefulness of statistical modeling methods in analysing, interpreting and understanding large datasets around available water resources and water consumption, providing reliable information to water utilities in reducing a tedious approach of water monitoring and assessment programmes in the region.

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Effects of waste plastics as partial fine-aggregate replacement for reinforced low-carbon concrete pavements

International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

2022 Using waste plastics as a partial natural aggregate replacement and monitoring strength and workability reduction in pavement structures is vital to net-carbon zero. This study explores the utilisation of waste plastic as a fine aggregate replacement in medium-strength reinforced concrete pavements, for improving plastic aggregate performance and the intrinsic reasoning for observed strength performance. Various weight fractions of fines were substituted by the same weight of plastic aggregates ranging from 5–15% according to the appropriate standards (Eurocodes and British Standards). The physical and mechanical properties of the composites were analysed. The results indicated that the use of polymeric materials as a partial replacement for fines contributed to a decrease in workability, compressive strength and push-out bond between steel reinforcement and concrete. Despite these trends, 5% replacement of fine aggregates with plastic waste surpassed all the feasibility criteria. Furthermore, using 10% of plastic replacement by weight was deemed feasible in non-structural applications such as roads, pavements, and facades. The outputs have demonstrated environmental engineering concepts in tackling plastic waste, providing an alternative to conventional aggregate. Environmental benefits can arise due to the removal of potentially hazardous plastics from entering ecosystems as well as minimising dredging of global sand reserves.

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Environmentally improved desalination processes in the Caribbean for Brine Management: On-site produced sodium hypochlorite

Institute of Water Journal

2022 https://library.myebook.com/InstituteofWaterMagazine/journal-summer-2022/4093/#page/35

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