Associate Professor Naresh Singhal

BTech, MS, MA, PhD


Prior to joining the University of Auckland in 1996, Naresh was an environmental engineering consultant with Environ Corporation in the USA. He is currently the Environmental Engineering programme leader in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

His research expertise lies is in the areas of environmental impact assessment and treatment technologies. He currently leads cross-disciplinary, cross-faculty research projects in a number of topical and environmentally significant areas including:

  • Contaminated sites remediation
  • Groundwater flow and transport
  • Landfill processes
  • Stormwater management
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Air pollution

Collaborators include colleagues from within the University (Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, Chemistry, Molecular Medicine, Pharmacology, Physics, SBS, SGGES), external organisations (ESR, GNS, Landcare Research, NIWA) and international institutions (based in India, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, USA).

He has received the Emerging Research Excellence and the Mid-career Achievement awards, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities Fellowship from the University of Auckland as well as the Edward Clarence Dyason Universitas 21 Fellowship from the University of Melbourne.


PhD in Civil Engineering, Princeton University (1995)
MA in Civil Engineering, Princeton University (1990)
MS in Civil Engineering, Louisiana State University (1986)
BTech in Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (1985)


Research | Current

  • Contaminated sites remediation
    Biological, chemical and phytological treatment of contaminated soils, plant-microbe interaction, organic and metal uptake by plants, surfactant mobilisation of contaminants, biosurfactant microfoam enhancement of in-situ bioremediation, Fenton and photochemical degradation of chlorinated solvents.
  • Groundwater flow and transport phenomena
    Physical and mathematical modelling, contaminant transport in soil and fractured media, biogeochemical interactions, risk assessment.
  • Landfill processes
    Biosolid monofills, bioreactor design, gas and leachate production and transport in solid wastes, liner creation via in-situ permeability reduction.
  • Stormwater management
    Modelling of stormwater runoff, development of stormwater treatment systems.
  • Wastewater treatment
    Physical and mathematical modelling of treatment systems, microbial response and adaptation to contaminants, and organic and inorganic pollutant removal.


Postgraduate supervision

PhD students

  • Anthea Johnson
  • Buddhika Gunawardana
  • Farhans Shams
  • Anushka Elangasinghe
  • Cody Mankelow
  • Raul Octavio Perez
  • Sabrina Karim
  • Yusuf Onundi
  • Sanjay Kaushal
  • Aditi Borker

ME students

  • Aditya Veer
  • Miriam Tailby


  • Association of Pacific Rim Universities Fellowship, The University of Auckland (2000)
  • Emerging Research Excellence Award, The University of Auckland (2000)
  • Edward Clarence Dyason Universitas 21 Fellowship, University of Melbourne (2003)
  • Top Twenty Lecturers, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland (2003)
  • Mid-career Strategic Support Award, The University of Auckland (2005)


  • Leader, Environmental Engineering programme
  • Manager, Environmental Engineering laboratory
  • Department Postgraduate Adviser (Taught programmes)


Areas of expertise

Environmental remediation and treatment technologies, environmental impact assessment, solid waste management, wastewater treatment, surface water and groundwater modelling.

Committees/Professional groups/Services


  • Board of Graduate Studies, The University of Auckland (2010 – 2011)
  • Executive Committee, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland (2010 - present)
  • Scholarships Sub-committee, The University of Auckland (2010 – 2011)

Professional groups

  • Board of Centre for Microbial Innovation, The University of Auckland (2011 - present)
  • Editorial Board of Air, Soil and Water Research (2012 - present)
  • Editorial Board of Environmental Engineering Research Journal (2011 - present)
  • Editorial Board of the Journal of Environmental Engineering and Ecological Science (2011 - present)

Professional affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • International Water Association
  • National Ground Water Association
  • Australasian Association for Engineering Education

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Gunawardana, B., Swedlund, P. J., Singhal, N., & Nieuwoudt, M. K. (2018). Pentachlorophenol dechlorination with zero valent iron: a Raman and GCMS study of the complex role of surficial iron oxides. Environmental science and pollution research international, 25 (18), 17797-17806. 10.1007/s11356-018-2003-5
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Swedlund, Michel Nieuwoudt
  • Shams, D. F., Singhal, N., & Elefsiniotis, P. (2018). Effect of feed characteristics and operational conditions on treatment of dairy farm wastewater in a coupled anoxic-upflow and aerobic system. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 133, 186-195. 10.1016/j.bej.2018.02.012
  • Wang, K., Larkin, T., Singhal, N., & Song, Y. (2018). Mobility of pharmaceutical and personal care products in lime amended wastewater biosolids. Science of The Total Environment, 624, 1263-1273. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.243
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Tam Larkin
  • Hamzah, N., Kamil, N. A. F. M., Singhal, N., Padhye, L., & Swift, S. (2018). Comparison of phenanthrene removal by Aspergillus Niger ATC 16404 (filamentous fungi) and Pseudomonas putida KT2442 (bacteria) in enriched nutrient-liquid medium. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science. 10.1088/1755-1315/140/1/012047
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lokesh Padhye, Simon Swift
  • Hamzah, N., Singhal, N., Padhye, L., & Swift, S. (2018). Effect of surfactants on Aspergillus brasiliensis ATCC 16404 physicochemical properties. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 6 (2), 3392-3398. 10.1016/j.jece.2018.04.068
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Swift, Lokesh Padhye
  • Liu, J., Hernández SE, Swift, S., & Singhal, N. (2018). Estrogenic activity of cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a and their oxidative products by FeIII-B*/H2O2. Water research, 132, 309-319. 10.1016/j.watres.2018.01.018
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Swift, Jishan Liu
  • Chen, J. L., Ravindran, S., Swift, S., & Singhal, N. (2018). Changes in estrogenicity and micropollutant concentrations across unit processes in a biological wastewater treatment system. Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research, 77 (5-6), 1673-1682. 10.2166/wst.2018.047
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Simon Swift
  • Perez-Garcia, O., Mankelow, C., Chandran, K., Villas-Boas, S. G., & Singhal, N. (2017). Modulation of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) Accumulation by Primary Metabolites in Denitrifying Cultures Adapting to Changes in Environmental C and N. Environmental science & technology, 51 (23), 13678-13688. 10.1021/acs.est.7b03345
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Silas Villas-Boas


Contact details

Primary office location

HSB - NORTH - Bldg 201N
Level 6, Room 674
New Zealand

Web links