Dr Josh Cottom

Dr Josh Cottom


Josh is a Research Fellow in the School of Civil Engineering with a focus on plastic pollution, solid waste management and informal sector recycling. His active research involves the modelling of marine litter with an aim to quantify both the sources and pathways of plastic pollution to the marine environment. Josh is a member of the ISWA Task Force on Marine Litter, with a focus on preventing plastic pollution in the Global South from mismanaged solid waste. In this role Josh is the lead developer of the ISWA Plastic Pollution Calculator, a model which tracks the flow of plastic waste throughout the waste management system and following its release in the environment. Josh also has a research interest in the informal recycling sector, with an emphasis on plastic recycling, having investigated their contribution to overall recycling and plastic pollution prevention within a number of developing countries.

Prior to becoming a Research Fellow, Josh completed his PhD at the University of Leeds between the School of Chemical and Process Engineering and the School of Physics and Astronomy. His thesis explored the role of plasmonic nanorod arrays for photocatalysis with a particular emphasis on characterising the plasmonic modes using Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) and Finite Element Modelling (FEM). For this he won the award of Recognition of Research Excellence, in addition to releasing a number of academic publications and presenting at international conferences.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Low Carbon Technologies
  • MSc in Low Carbon Technologies
  • MEng in Energy and Environmental Engineering
  • BEng in Energy and Environmental Engineering

Research groups and institutes

  • Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering
  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy