Menu Close
Director, Institute for Sustainable Building Design, Heriot-Watt University

Michael Gormley is the Director of the institute for Sustainable Building design at Heriot-Watt University. He is a chartered engineer with over 30 years experience in both industry and academia. He is a specialist in water supply and sanitation as well as an electrical building services engineer. He is a named inventor on international patents and has secured continuous research funding since becoming a full time Lecturer in 2006.

Originally qualified as an Electronics Engineer, he spent 5 years in the field of electronic systems design and computer networking before becoming involved in the technological aspects of Building Services Engineering. During this time he spent a two year sabbatical in Uganda where he developed an interest in the provision of water supply and sanitation in low/middle income communities. He completed an MSc in Building Services Engineering in 1998 at Heriot-Watt University for which he obtained a distinction.

In 2000 he joined the Drainage Research Team to work on the development of a positive air pressure transient attenuator (PAPA) for use in building drains. The results of this development were submitted as an MPhil thesis which was awarded in 2002. Following the work on the PAPA he undertook a PhD study into the interaction of solids in horizontal drainage systems. He graduated with a PhD in 2004. He is a named inventor on a patent for a sonar-like system for the identification of defects in building drainage systems. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Architectural Engineering programme at the School of the built Environment and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2012.

He has been working in the field of public health engineering and since 2000 and since 2010 has developed research interests in the field of pathogen cross transmission and cross contamination and leads a team of interdisciplinary researchers including microbiologists and engineers investigating Pathogen Research in the Built Environment (PRoBE).

His current research interests can be summarised as follows; fundamental research on numerical modelling of fluid flows in water supply and sanitation systems; applied to three broad fields of study – building drainage system product development, public health engineering and water and sanitation in an international development context.


  • –present
    Director, Water Academy, Heriot-Watt University