Dr Peter Hedges

Visiting Academic Fellow

Phone:  0121 204 3585 
Email:  p.d.hedges@aston.ac.uk 

Room:  MB221






On graduation from St Catharines College Cambridge in 1970, Pete Hedges returned to Rolls Royce Bristol Engine Division, where he was an indentured apprentice. He left in 1971 to study for an MSc in Water Resources Technology and subsequently joined Yorkshire River Authority as an Assistant Engineer working on land drainage and flood alleviation schemes. With reorganisation of the water industry he moved to the New Works Section of the newly formed Yorkshire Water Authority’s Rivers Division based in Leeds. 

In 1977 Pete was appointed to a lectureship in the Civil Engineering Department at Aston University and over the following 35+ years he has lectured a wide range of subjects within the civil engineering, construction and environment fields. 

Pete obtained his PhD in 1990 with a thesis entitled "The Impact on Agriculture of the Drawdown of Shallow Watertables". Subsequently he successfully supervised 20 PhD and 3 MPhil students, and brought over £0.5 million into the University. A successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Middlemarch Environmental Ltd, won a National Award in 2007, and was followed up with 2 further KTPs, also with Middlemarch.

After 40 years at Aston, the majority as a Senior Lecturer, and having relinquished his various responsibilities, including Head of ESM, in March 2014, he retired at the end of April 2018. 

Although he is now retired, Pete has retained his links with the University and is a Visiting Academic Fellow. In this capacity, he currently lectures one module, is Associate Supervisor to 4 PhD students, and the University’s representative on the Board of the Aston Brooke Co-operative Trust.


Educational qualifications

  • MA in Mechanical Sciences (1970) from Cambridge University
  • MSc in Water Resources Technology (1972) from Birmingham University  
  • PhD Soil Water Physics/EIA (1990) from Aston University 

Professional qualifications

  • Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (admitted January 1976)
  • Member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (admitted to predecessor organisation IWE in March 1977) 
  • Co-Convenor of the Sustainable Environment Research Group

  • Programme Director for Built Environment Programmes in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

  • Convenor Sustainable Aston Working Group 

Between 1996 and 2014 Pete was Programme Director for numerous full time and Combined Honours undergraduate programmes, and was Head of Engineering Systems and Management from 2009 until 2014.

In addition to supervising final year projects, he currently delivers or contributes to 6 modules on the BSc Construction Project Management Programme:

  •         EC1CMT Construction Materials
  •         EC217C Introduction to Building Design
  •         EC307C Green Building
  •         EC314C Building Services

Previous research interests have included:

  • The design and impact of combined sewer overflows and the transport of sewer solids.
  • The biodiversity aspects of development projects : continuity throughout a projects lifecycle; and appropriate planting regimes in response to climate change.
  • The application of Remote Sensing techniques and GIS within the fields of: Environmental Impact Assessment; the management of landfill sites; hydrology and water resources management. The linking of GIS interactively with models, and using remotely sensed imagery as a data source for GIS
  • Environmental management systems, including the development of biodiversity indicators, and biodiversity in the supply chain. 
  • Innovation in engineering undergraduate teaching, particularly regarding communication skills and assessment methods. 
  • The design, creation and restoration of ecological habitats, particularly wetland systems, with activity centred on determining the water use of wetland habitats and phytoremediation.
  • The biodiversity enhancement of constructed wetland treatment systems.
  • Water vole conservation.


Past Research Projects >>



Journal Articles 

Book Chapters

Miller, H.S., Hedges, P.D. and Fermor, P.M. (2005), ‘The Response of the Biodiversity of Wet Woodlands to Differing Management Practices’, in Natural and Constructed Wetlands: nutrients, metals and management, Ed Vymazal, J., Backhuys Publishers, 33-42.

Read, K.E., Hedges, P.D. and Fermor, P.M. (2005), ‘Experimental Determination of Evapotranspiration Rates of Wet Woodland Habitat in England’, in Natural and Constructed Wetlands: nutrients, metals and management, Ed Vymazal, J., Backhuys Publishers, 321-336.

Hedges PD and Chebbo G (2004), ‘Sewage Settling Velocity: Standardisation of Terminology and Data Presentation’, in Ashley RM, Bertrand-Krajewski JL, Hvitved-Jacobsen, and Verbank M (Ed), Solids in Sewers, Scientific and Technical Report No 14, International Water Association, IWA Publishing, 324-331.

Steggal, N.A., Hedges, P.D. and Fermor, P.M. (2005), ‘Phytoremediation Treatment Systems for Landfill Leachate, in Natural and Constructed Wetlands: nutrients, metals and management, Ed Vymazal, J., Backhuys Publishers, 160-168.

Hedges, P.D., Ellis, R.J. and Elgy, J (1996), 'Airborne Remote Sensing as a Tool for Monitoring Landfill Sites Within an Urban Environment', in Morgan, J.H.,Sampling Environmental Media, ASTM Publication STP 1282, 63-77.

Refereed conference papers

Barber, H.C., Hedges, P.D. and Fermor, P (2010), Maximising Urban Biodiversity in Mega-Development Projects: Strategic Lessons Learnt from a UK Case Study, presented at URBIO International Conference, Nagoya, Japan.

Barber, H.C., Hedges, P.D. and Fermor, P (2009), Obstacles and Solutions to Maximising Biodiversity in Major Urban Development Schemes, International Conference on Human Ecology, Manchester, UK

Hedges, P.D. and Fermor, P.M. (2006), The Hydrological Sustainability of Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment, 6th Workshop on Nutrient Cycling and Retention in Natural and Constructed Wetlands, 30th May - 3rd June 2006, Trebon, Czech Republic

Read, K.R., Hedges P.D. and Fermor P.M. (2006) Monthly Evapotranspiration Coefficients of Large Reedbed Habitats in the UK, 6th Workshop on Nutrient Cycling and Retention in Natural and Constructed Wetlands, 30th Mat - June 3rd 2006, Trebon, Czech Republic


Gregory, S., Hedges, P.D. and Elgy, J. (1999), ‘The Geometric Correction of Airborne Line-Scaner Imagery’, Proc. 4th Int. Airborne Remote Sensing Conference and Exhibition, 1, I 178-185, Ottawa, Canada, 21-24 June 1999.