Zara Visanji

Project: Management of emerging contaminants

Supervisors: Professors Fayyaz Memon and David Butler

Industrial Supervisor: Tony Griffiths, South West Water


Zara graduated with an MSc in Water Engineering from the University of Exeter in 2017, and is planning on continuing her studies here in Exeter for the duration of the WISE CDT PhD programme. Her Master’s dissertation was entitled: ‘Sustainable Treatment of Emerging Pollutants in Developing Countries (India)’. Previously, she graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Physical Geography and Geology from the University of Plymouth in 2015.

Zara’s PhD research will be part of the Fate and Management of Emerging Contaminants (FAME) project which will investigate emerging contaminants in the major Indian rivers and wastewater treatment works, as well as creating novel and affordable treatment solutions for urban and rural India. She also hopes to look at the removal of emerging contaminants in wastewater treatment plants, with a focus on individual unit processes.

Work Experience

Most recently, Zara has been a postgraduate teaching assistant for a third year module titled ‘Water Resources and Pollution Control’. She led weekly tutorial sessions regarding calculations surrounding wastewater treatment. Zara was also a part of the Green Consultant Program at the University of Exeter, which involved carrying out a waste audit of all non-residential external bins and producing a report to comply with ISO 14001 regulations. She also has experience with carbon accounting, energy and water audits.

During her Master’s degree, Zara was employed as a Project Support Administrator at South West Water (SWW) within the Sewer Adoptions Team. Here, she was chosen to act as the lead on two projects which involved overseeing the S105a pump station transfer and updating the internal database.

Research Interests

  • Improving quality of drinking water and wastewater, specifically within Developing Countries
  • Emerging pollutants found in water systems
  • Effects of pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine disruptors on water quality


To see Zara’s recent publications, please click here.

2020 Industry Day Research Poster