Dr Maryam Imani

Associate Professor of Water Systems Engineering

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Built environment

Research Supervision:Yes

Dr Maryam Imani is an Associate Professor of Water Systems Engineering in ARU's School of Engineering and the Built Environment. She is a Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng) and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Her main research interests are in water infrastructure resilience, adaptation and interdependency as well as green infrastructure/sustainable drainage systems (SuDS)/National Building Specification (NBS).

She also has interests in the application of computational modelling, machine learning and evolutionary algorithms in water infrastructure.



Maryam is a Charted Civil Engineer and attained her BEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering in 2001 and worked as a structure engineer in industry for three years. She left practice to academia to complete her MEng degree in Water Systems Engineering in 2005 and simultaneously worked as a part-time researcher in the water industry.

Maryam achieved her PhD in Water Systems Engineering from University of Exeter in 2012. Her PhD project (funded by Exeter University Research Scholarship (ERS) award), titled Modelling the Performance of an Integrated Urban Wastewater System (IUWS) under Future Conditions (climate change and urbanisation, focused on development of novel risk-based and non-risk-based optimisation models to improve the operational control and design of IUWS under climate change and urbanisation.

In her PhD, Maryam also developed the novel meta-model 'MOGA-ANNβ' by combining Genetic Algorithm and Artificial Neural Network to tackle complexity and time-demanding nature of integrated modelling of urban wastewater system Additionally, Maryam worked as an Associate Lecturer at INTO University of Exeter when she was a PhD student in Exeter University.

Upon her PhD completion, she was appointed as Associate Research Fellow in the EPSRC-funded project Safe&SuRe Water Management at the Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter. Maryam worked with the team to develop a new paradigm for safe, sustainable and resilient water management in response to emerging challenges and global uncertainties. She has been a Visiting Research Fellow in the University of Utah in the US as part of ‘Clean Water for All, UK-US Collaboration’ project, funded jointly by EPSRC & NSF.

Maryam joined ARU in 2015 and is currently an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering (Water Systems Engineering) in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment. Maryam currently leads several modules and have been involved in research projects as PI, CO-PI and Co-I since joining ARU.

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Research interests

  • Water infrastructure resilience, adaptation and interdependency
  • Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) (nature based solutions, green infrastructure)
  • Application of computational modelling, machine learning and evolutionary algorithms

Areas of research supervision

  • Resilience prediction in water infrastructure
  • Optimal SuDS design to achieve net zero
  • Resilience-informed decentralised urban wastewater system management


BEng Civil Engineering (project-based learning curriculum):

  • MOD007041 – Hydraulics and Geotechnics
  • MOD007038 – Civil Engineering Project 2

BSc Civil Engineering – Degree Apprenticeship:

  • MOD002281 – Hydraulics


  • PG Cert, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, Anglia Ruskin University, 2016
  • PhD, Water Systems Engineering, University of Exeter, 2012
  • LTHE, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Exeter, 2011
  • MEng, Water Systems Engineering, 2006
  • BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering, 2001

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of editorial board – Municipal Engineer
  • Member of editorial board – Sustainability
  • Member of International Water Association (IWA)
  • Member of The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)
  • Member of Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
  • Member of Frontiers of Engineering network, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Member of Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Member of ICE’s Knowledge Café – Flooding Network
  • Member of ICE Essex Committee
  • School Liaison Officer (SLO) of ICE Essex Committee
  • STEM Ambassador
  • Member of Women’s Engineering Society

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Water and Sustainability – Centre of Excellence, IIT Madras, Government of India (≈£4M)
  • Smart SuDS Health Monitoring – QR fund
  • Resilience-informed decision support framework for sustainability transitions in the developing world: Incorporating SuDS into the peri-urban areas in Brazil and India (RESoURce@Brandia) – UKRI-GCRF
  • R3-Infranet – QR fund
  • RV-DSS: An industry-friendly resilience-based interdependency assessment tool – case study North Argyll – NERC-Ciria
  • Towards Water Quality Resilience Promotion in Sao Carlos, Brazil: GIS Maps Development (WQRGIS / WQR-ANN); Royal Academy of Engineering – frontiers of engineering for development – Newton Fund

Selected recent publications

From 2017 onwards:

Tavares Zambrano, K., Imani, M. and Gasparini Fernandes Cunha, D. (2022) 'COVID-19 and organisational resilience in Brazil's water sector', Journal of the Science of The Total Environment (STOTEN), 848, 157637. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157637

Vasconcelos, A.F., Barbassa, A.P., Fernanda Nóbrega dos Santos, M. and Imani, M. (2022) 'Barriers to sustainable urban stormwater management in developing countries: The case of Brazil', Journal of Land Use Policy, 112, 105821. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105821

Hajializadeh, D. and Imani, M. (2020) 'RV-DSS: Towards a Resilience and Vulnerability-informed Decision Support System Framework for Interdependent Infrastructure Systems', Journal of Computers & Industrial Engineering, 156, 107276. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cie.2021.107276

Trevisan, D.P., Ruggiero, M.H., da Conceição Bispo, P., Almeida, D., Imani, M., Balzter, H. and Moschini, L.E. (2021) 'Evaluation of Environmental Naturalness: A Case Study in the Tietê-Jacaré Hydrographic Basin, São Paulo, Brazil', Sustainability, 13(6), pp. 3021. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063021

Imani, M., Hasan, Md., Bittencourt, L.F., McClymont, K. and Kapelan, Z. (2021) 'A Novel Machine Learning Application: Water Quality Resilience Prediction Model', Journal of the Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN), 768, 144459. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144459

Vasconcelos, A., Barbassa, A., Fernanda Nóbrega dos Santos, M. and Imani, M. (2021) 'Barriers to sustainable urban stormwater management in developing countries: the case of Brazil', Journal of Land Use Policy, 112, 105821. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105821

McClymont, K., Gasparini Fernandes Cunha, D., Maidment, C., Ashagre, B., Floriano Vasconcelos, A., Macedo, M.B. Nóbrega dos Santos, M.F., Nóbrega Gomes Júnior, M., Mendiondo, E.M., Paceli Barbassa, A., Rajendran, L. and Imani, M. (2020) 'Towards urban resilience through sustainable drainage systems: a multi-objective optimisation problem', Journal of Environmental Management, 275, 111173. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.111173

Peruchi Trevisan, D., Bispo, P.C., Almeida, D., Imani, M., Balzter, H. and Moschini, L.E. (2020) 'Environmental vulnerability index: An evaluation of the water and the vegetation quality in a Brazilian Savanna and Seasonal Forest biome', Ecological Indicators, 112, 106163. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106163

Batalini de Macedo, M., Ambrogi Ferreira do Lago, C.M., Eduardo M., Giacomoni, M.H., Imani, M., Zhang, K. and Nóbrega Gomes Júnior, M. (2019) 'Low Impact Development Practices in the context of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: A new concept, lessons learned and challenges', Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10643389.2021.1886889

Imani, M. and Hajializadeh, D. (2019) 'A resilience assessment framework for critical infrastructure networks' interdependencies', Water Sci Technol, wst2019367. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2019.367

Hasan, Md., Lwin, K.T., Imani, M., Shabut, A., Bittencourt, L.F. and Hossain, A. (2018) 'Dynamic multi-objective optimisation using deep reinforcement learning: benchmark, algorithm and an application to identify vulnerable zones based on water quality', Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence, 86, pp. 107-135. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engappai.2019.08.014

Sweetapple, C., Astaraie-Imani, M. and Butler, D. (2018) 'Design and operation of urban wastewater systems considering reliability, risk and resilience', Water Research, 147, pp. 1-12. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2018.09.032

Costa, C.W., Lorandi, R., de Lollo, J.A., Imani, M. and Dupas, F.A. (2018) 'Surface runoff and accelerated erosion in a peri‑urban wellhead area in southeastern Brazil', Journal of Environmental Earth Sciences, 77, pp. 160. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-018-7366-x

Butler, D., Ward, S., Astaraie-Imani, M., Diao, K., Sweetapple, C., Fu, G. and Farmani, R. (2017) 'Reliable, resilient and sustainable water management: the Safe & SuRe approach', Journal of Global Challenges, 1(1), pp. 63-77. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/gch2.1010

Recent presentations and conferences

From 2021 onwards:

Chair, IAHR-APD training workshop on ‘Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) design and implementation’, December 2022, IIT Madras, Chennai, India.

Co-chair, India-UK-Brazil Winter School on SuDS, December 2022, IIT Madras, Chennai, India.

Keynote Speaker, ‘Institutional organisation, financing, and innovation in stormwater management’ workshop, IHP-LAC Working Group on Urban Water and Human Settlements, UNESCO, November 2022, Brazil.

Chair, ‘Nature based solutions: the UK, Brazil, and India’s perspectives’ workshop (Follow up of RESoURce@Brandia project), July 2022, Anglia Ruskin University, UK.

Co-chair, ‘nature-based solutions for climate-resilient cities in developing countries under change’ workshop, IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, October 2022, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Co-chair, Water Use Session, 2021. AQUA≈360: Water for All - Emerging Issues & Innovations, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter, UK.

McClymont, K., …., Imani, M., 2021. Resilience-informed sustainable drainage system planning, AQUA≈360: Water for All - Emerging Issues & Innovations, Centre for Water Systems, University of Exeter, UK.