Queen's University Belfast

Department QUESTOR Centre
Country Northern Ireland
Region UK

The QUESTOR Centre at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) is an Industry-University Environmental Research Cooperative that carries out multidisciplinary environmental research.  The Centre has a high profile in Northern Ireland and was awarded Centre of Excellence in 2002. QUESTOR's mission is to carry out world leading, multi-disciplinary environmental research that is relevant to the needs of a cross-section of industry.  Staff regularly host seminars and training workshops and present at seminars, conferences and trade events organised by other bodies. QUESTOR research mainly falls into the following categories: environmental monitoring & analysis (emissions, odour, noise, air quality, dust), water & wastewater treatment technologies (biological, chemical, physical, thermal, plasma), pollution prevention ('green' chemistry), remediation technologies (soil, water, air), environmental genomics, waste management & recycling, environmental communication, and renewable energy including bioenergy (especially energy from waste).

Partner Skills

We have extensive experience of industrial collaboration in the areas of new environmental product and process development, covering the fields of environmental management, resource efficiency, biorenewable energy, water and energy efficiency, water and wastewater treatment by both biological and physicochemical processes, clean production and manufacturing.  We are a multi disciplinary unit where scientists and engineers work together on environmental projects for industry. 

Some of the areas the Questor centre has experience in:
  • knowledge of microbial phosphate metabolism and, was responsible for developing a novel experimental waste treatment system using bacteria to precipitate radionuclides from wastewater.  
  • aerobic and anaerobic biological wastewater treatment and membrane technology.  
  • monitoring of effluent; 
  • the development and commercialisation of novel tests and technologies.  
  • remove of Tri-butyl Tin from ship wash effluent.  
  • transfer best practice in water and energy use in the food and textile industries to companies in India 
The ATU undertakes environmentally related applied research and development projects on behalf of client companies. Projects are developed from an idea or concept through to pilot scale or prototype and taken through to completion over time-scales ranging from a few months to several years.  Projects undertaken include:
  • SESCOWA (FP5, Craft) Selectively remove valuable organic compounds from wastewater streams, using specialised halophilic bacteria and membrane technology.
  • WAPSCIENCE (FP6, Cooperative Project) Wastewater treatment plant improvement through the use of smart in-line sensors and computational intelligence .
  • NEPTUN (Leonardo da Vinci) The project aim is to develop a web-based European "learning community" for exchange of know-how and information based on the Water Framework Directive. People in public administration will use this tool to increase their technical knowledge in the field of water management. 
  • WW Treat (LIFE-Environment) The project aim is to improve the efficiency of wastewater treatment systems in small communities. This will be implemented through audits and research into BAT.
Participation in the Work Plan
Activity 3- we could develop a database covering the legislation and standards to Northern Ireland and UK.  We could work with the local docks to provide information on the socioeconomic activities, industrial activities etc which are ongoing to help classify the harbour
Activity 4  -We would be interested in aiding the other members by collecting information and data.
Activity 7  -We will lead this activity producing a DSS system and case studies
Activity 8 - We will help with the dissemination of the findings.