A O'Sullivan

Associate ProfessorAisling O'Sullivan

Civil & Natural Resources Engineering Rm E443
Internal Phone: 92045
Ecological Engineering/ Pūhanga rauropi solves problems for societies and for the environment by designing solutions based on these reciprocities.


Research Interests

Aisling O’Sullivan is an Ahorangi Tuarua/Associate Professor and a Kaipūhanga Rauropi/ Ecological Engineer. She leads CELTS (Centre for EcoLogical Technology Solutions, www.CELTS.org.nz) which she founded in 2006 to meet the research gap in Ecological Engineering in Aotearoa New Zealand. CELTS is part of the Department of Civil & Natural Resources Engineering at UC.

Aisling's research interests involve monitoring, modelling and treating non-point source metal and nutrient contaminants that are difficult to remove. Applications have been applied to the urban, mining and rural environments. She currently leads a National Science Challenge cross-disciplinary team 3D-printed water treatment filters fabricated from under-utilised biowastes. Upon the end-of-their design life, these products are regenerated into safe (green) materials that become a new resource.

Complementary research Aisling has led included developing algal-bacterial biomass as a second generation biofuel. She also supervises research on green roof and green wall systems to treat wastewater streams. Aisling's team employ Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) modelling tools to measure the environmental impacts of different treatment technologies they develop.

Aisling has supervised >23 PhD and Masters Engineering projects and >29 (team) Honours research projects to completion. She has published >76 full peer-reviewed technical research articles in journals (39), books (5) and conference proceedings(32), with an additional 65 extended abstracts and numerous technical reports. Her research has been widely published and independently validated as outstanding with the award of an A score in the latest PBRF assessment. Her moto is it's 'Eco-Logical' to engineer in partnership with nature.

Recent Publications

  • O'Sullivan A., Cochrane T. and Charters F. (2018) A Device for Treating Roof Runoff.Patent No. 740976, New Zealand Patent Application 740976.
  • Charters F., O'Sullivan A. and Cochrane T. (2022) Influences of zinc loads in urban catchment runoff: roof type, land use type, climate and management strategies. Journal of Environmental Management.
  • Charters FJ., Cochrane TA. and O’Sullivan AD. (2021) The influence of urban surface type and characteristics on runoff water quality. Science of The Total Environment 755: 142470-142478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142470.
  • Charters F., Cochrane T. and O'Sullivan A. (2020) Predicting Event-Based Sediment and Heavy Metal Loads in Untreated Urban Runoff from Impermeable Surfaces. Water 12(4) http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/w12040969.
  • Uster B., Milke M., Webster-Brown J., O'Sullivan A., Pope J. and Trumm D. (2019) Effect of alkalinity source on mechanisms of iron, manganese and zinc removal from acid mine drainage by sulfate-reducing bioreactors. engrχiv http://dx.doi.org/10.31224/osf.io/yzh9s.