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Research interests

Dr Tom Arnot studied for a BSc in Microbiology at Imperial College London and a PhD in Biochemical Engineering at the University of Reading. He has worked at the University of Bath since 1991.

Tom was Undergraduate Admissions Tutor for eight years and has contributed extensively to the development of the IChemE Whynotchemeng campaign.

He has acted as external examiner for over 25 PhD candidates in the UK and internationally, and is currently an external examiner for an undergraduate degree programme in Biopharmaceutical Technology.


Tom's research falls into two main areas: the first is sustainable water and waste water treatment, and the second is novel drug delivery systems for healthcare and food applications.

He collaborates nationally and internationally, and has received funding from a wide range of sources including the EPSRC, the EU Framework programmes, and various industrial partners.

Tom has a track record in the development of membrane technology and membrane bioreactor systems (MBRs) for the treatment of municipal and industrial waste water streams.

The motivation is to enhance sustainability through reduction in energy consumption of membrane and MBR systems via improved membrane systems and materials, and also via manipulation of microbial physiology in MBRs to reduce sludge production and develop micro-organisms capable of degrading recalcitrant compounds. This work has recently involved demonstration projects in North Africa and the Middle East region.

Current projects include:

  • Development of new methods for detection and treatment of priority micro-pollutants; with Wessex Water and Dr Kasprzyk-Hordern in Chemistry
  • Algal photo-bioreactors for simultaneous carbon capture, waste water treatment, and high added value product recovery; an EPSRC KTA project with Prof Rod Scott in Biology & Biochemistry, Prof Matt Davidson in Chemistry, and Aragreen (UK) Ltd
  • New membrane materials for low energy performance and reduced environmental impact in ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis applications; with Dr Davide Mattia in Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology for Africa’s sustainable water supply; EU FP7 programme with 15 partners across Europe and Africa

The second main area of work involves the development of responsive or “smart” drug delivery technologies for healthcare applications. In particular we are interested in the formulation of structured emulsion systems for the selective delivery of bacteriophage and antibiotics to target wound infections in burns victims.

  • Encapsulated phage for treatment of burns and wound site infections; an EPSRC Healthcare Partnership project with Dr Toby Jenkins in Chemistry, Dr Amber Young at Frenchay Hospital, and Prof Mark Enright at AmphilPhi Biosciences Ltd.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Fouling Chemical Compounds

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Projects 2006 2022


Doctoral Training Centre in Water Informatics: Science and Engineering (WISE)

Arnot, T.


Project: Research-related fundingPGR Training Grant

Accelerating International Research Collaboration Scheme - Sustainability, Water, Manufacturing

Mattia, D., Hofman, J., Bryant, L., Wain, D., Kasprzyk-Hordern, B., Chew, Y., Bird, M., Wenk, J., Arnot, T., Patterson, D. & Di Lorenzo, M.


Project: Research-related fundingInternational Relations Office Funding

Research Output 1992 2018

Developing a Stochastic Sewer Input Model to Support Sewer Design Under Water Conservation Measures

Bailey, O., Hofman, J. A. M. H., Arnot, T., Kapelan, Z., Blokker, M. & Vreeberg, J., 1 Sep 2018, New Trends in Urban Drainage Modelling: UDM 2018. Mannina, G. (ed.). Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham, p. 74-78 4 p. (Green Energy and Technology (GREEN)).

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

Emerging contaminants in food waste digestion

De Groof, V., Arnot, T., Coma, M. & Kasprzyk-Hordern, B., 2 Feb 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Emerging contaminants in food waste digestion

De Groof, V., Kasprzyk-Hordern, B., Proctor, K., Coma, M., Arnot, T. & Lanham, A., 16 Apr 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Medium chain carboxylic acids from COD-rich food waste as sole substrate

De Groof, V., Arnot, T., Lanham, A., Coma, M. & Leak, D., 16 Jul 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Anaerobic digestion of sewage and domestic waste: how small can it be?

Markidis, I., Arnot, T. & Coma, M., 20 May 2017. 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Anaerobic digestion


Development of Bacteriophage-based Nano-emulsion Formulations for the Treatment of Burn Wound Infections

Author: Pérez Esteban, P., 30 Apr 2015

Supervisor: Arnot, T. (Supervisor) & Jenkins, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Fabrication and Applications of Nanoporous Alumina Membranes

Author: Lee, K. P., 31 Aug 2013

Supervisor: Mattia, D. (Supervisor) & Arnot, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Formulation of nano-structured emulsions for use in food and healthcare applications

Author: Elahi, S., 18 Dec 2015

Supervisor: Arnot, T. (Supervisor) & Plucinski, P. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Low Energy Membrane Bioreactors for Decentralised Waste Water Treatment

Author: Skouteris, G., 1 Apr 2010

Supervisor: Arnot, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Microalgae for Wastewater Treatment and Biomass Production from Bioprospecting to Biotechnology

Author: Sweiss, M., 10 Nov 2017

Supervisor: Scott, R. (Supervisor) & Arnot, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD