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Personal profile

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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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