• Room 02.022 - David Keir Building

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to consider PhD applications across the areas of - Bedrock Hydrogeology - Groundwater Resources Management - Hydrogeophysics - Numerical Modelling - Water–Energy Nexus - Environment and Human Health - Disaster Risk Reduction


Research output per year

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Personal profile


The overarching theme of my research activities is the characterisation of complex geohydrological and environmental systems across multiple scales with an emphasis of better understanding the underlying governing processes and the potential impacts to the environment and human health.  

My Research Interests include:
    - Fractured Bedrock Hydrogeology
    - Catchment Hydrology/Hydrogeology
    - Hydrogeophysics
    - isotope Hydrology/Geochemistry
    - Risk Assessment of Unconventional Oil & Gas Extraction
    - Environment & Human Health / Medical Geology
    - Bioaccessibility of Potentially Harmful Elements
    - Contaminant Fate & Transport / Numerical Modeling
    - Remedial Design / Groundwater Treatment Technologies
    - Environmental Liability Legislation
    - Hydrogeological Aspects of Geothermal Energy Systems

Current and recent Consortium Research Projects across the above areas with partners from across the UK, Ireland and the EU as well as Brazil, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia have been supported by National (e.g., NERC, RAEng, British Council - UK, EPA & SFI - RoI) and International Research Funders (e.g. EU Horizon2020 & EuropeAid, NSF - US, FAPESP - BR).




PhD in Hydrogeology (Dr. sc.nat.), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH, Zürich (CH)

Diploma (BSc & MRes) in Applied Geology, Christian-Ahlbrechts-Universität, Kiel (FRG) & Universiteit Gent, Ghent (B)

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET), Queen's University Belfast, Belfast (UK)





My teaching activities include the coordination and delivery of both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching modules as part of the School's Civil Engineering Programmes as well as specific MSc programmes. I am furthermore Course Director for the MSc Environmental Engineering Programme.

Current and Recent Teaching Activities at QUB include:
    - Engineering Hydrology & Hydrogeology
    - Land, Water & Air Quality
    - Site Characterisation
    - Computer Modelling of Contaminant Transport
    - Environmental Engineering
    - Design and Communications
    - Introduction to Renewable Energy Technologies
    - Construction Materials  - Soils

Examples of External Teaching Activities include:

Supervisor, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Scholarship Programme Project: Using nuclear technology for environmental safety and sustainable development of water resources in Borjomi region, Georgia, November 2009

Using Environmental Isotopes for Evaluation of Streamwater/ Groundwater  Interactions in Selected Aquifers in the Danube Basin, IAEA Regional Training Course RER8016, 28/06 – 02/07 2010, Sofia & Belene (Bulgaria)

Hydrologic and Hydrogeologic Modelling with the Use of Isotope Techniques in Water Resources Management, IAEA Regional Training Course RAF8048 - Building Capacity in Support of Regional and Sub-Regional Water Resources Planning, Development and     Management in Africa, 07/10 – 12/10 2013, Sfax, Tunisia

Geohydrology Short Course - Numerical Groundwater Modelling Theory and Practical, 8-10 May 2017, Geological Society of South Africa, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa

Current Topics in Groundwater Geophysics, Summer School at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, 29/01 - 02/02/2018

Shale Gas in the Global South - Negotiating Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts across the Karoo Basin, Workshop at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, 18/02 - 22/02/2019


Administrative Teaching Roles include:
Programme Director MSc Environmental Engineering, Queen's University Belfast
Programme Director for International Student Exchange Programmes, Civil Engineering, Queen's University Belfast
External Examiner for MSc Applied Environmental Geology Programme, University College Cork

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Research Output

Efficient LiDAR point cloud data encoding for scalable data management within the Hadoop eco-system

Vo, A. V., Hewage, C. N. L., Russo, G., Chauhan, N., Laefer, D. F., Bertolotto, M., Le-Khac, N-A. & Ofterdinger, U., 24 Feb 2020, IEEE BigData 2019 Los Angeles, CA, USA. IEEE , p. 5644-5653 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
  • 9 Downloads (Pure)

    Investigating the influence of environmental factors on the incidence of renal disease with compositional data analysis using balances

    McKinley, J., Mueller, U., Atkinson, P., Ofterdinger, U., Jackson, C., Cox, S., Doherty, R., Fogarty, D., Pawlowsky-Glahn, V. & Egozcue, J. J., 25 Mar 2020, (Accepted) In : Applied Computing and Geosciences.

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

    Open Access
  • Enhancement of gasworks groundwater remediation by coupling a bio-electrochemical and activated carbon system

    Kirmizakis, P., Doherty, R., Mendonça, C. A., Costeira, R., Allen, C. C. R., Ofterdinger, U. S. & Kulakov, L., 01 Apr 2019, In : Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 26, 10, p. 9981-9991 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    139 Downloads (Pure)

    Fracture Flow characterization with low-noise SP logging

    Kowalski, A. C. G., Mendonca, C. & Ofterdinger, U., 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Groundwater in fractured bedrock environments: managing catchment and subsurface resources – an introduction

    Ofterdinger, U., MacDonald, A. M., Comte, J-C. & Young, M. E., 07 Feb 2019, Groundwater in Fractured Bedrock Environments: Managing Catchment and Subsurface Resources: Geological Society of London Special Publication Series SP479. Ofterdinger, U., MacDonald, A. M., Comte, J-C. & Young, M. E. (eds.). London: Geological Society of London, Vol. SP479. p. SP479-2018-170 (Geological Society, London, Special Publications).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

    Open Access
    58 Downloads (Pure)


    • 3 Participation in conference
    • 1 Invited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    The 12th Conference on Geostatistics for Environmental Applications

    Tatiana Cocerva (Advisor), Siobhan Cox (Participant), Rory Doherty (Participant), Ulrich Ofterdinger (Participant), Manus Carey (Participant), Mark Cave (Participant)
    04 Jul 201805 Jul 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    REMEDIATE Conference

    Tatiana Cocerva (Participant), Siobhan Cox (Participant), Rory Doherty (Participant), Ulrich Ofterdinger (Participant), Mark Cave (Participant), Manus Carey (Participant)
    19 Sep 201820 Sep 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    28th Annual International Conference on Soil, Water, Energy, and Air

    Tatiana Cocerva (Participant), Siobhan Cox (Participant), Rory Doherty (Participant), Ulrich Ofterdinger (Participant)
    19 Mar 201822 Mar 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    A compositional approach to investigating the relationship between environmental factors and health

    Jennifer McKinley (Organiser), Ulrich Ofterdinger (Contributor), Peter Atkinson (Contributor), Damian Fogarty (Contributor)
    07 Sep 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference


    Trace Element Abundance and Human Epidemiology in Northern Ireland: The Tellus Case Study

    Author: Barsby, A. V., McKinley, J., Ofterdinger, U., Young, M. & Gavin, A., Jul 2013

    Supervisor: McKinley, J. (Supervisor), Ofterdinger, U. (Supervisor), Young, M. (External person) (Supervisor) & Gavin, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy