Dr Matt Bailey Ross

Dr Matt Bailey Ross

Lecturer in Environmental and Engineering Geology

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Chartered geoScientist and Lecturer in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Programme lead for MSc Environmental and Engineering Geology. Bringing applied expertise from 13 years in the geoenvironmental sector to support authentic learning and drive applied research.


PhD Environmental Engineering, Newcastle | MSc Contaminated Land, Portsmouth | BSc Environmental Geosciences, Durham
Career background
Despite being a largely post-industrial country, the UK is still facing major geo-environmental challenges associated with its industrial legacy. Prior to joining Plymouth in 2022, my career in industry focused on tackling some of these challenges, and I bring perspective from roles in government, client side organisations and private sector / consultancy.
2017 - 2022 Research Manager, Nuclear Waste Services
Nuclear Waste Services is the organisation responsible for delivering a geological disposal facility for the UK's inventory of c.280,000 tonnes of higher activity radioactive wastes. This is a community-led, major infrastructure project with an estimated life-cycle cost of the order of tens of 拢 billions. As Research Manager, I was responsible for delivering needs driven research to underpin designs and safety cases for the geological disposal facility. Leading project teams in the supply chain and academia to advance understanding of groundwater chemistry and bentonite engineered barrier systems. Additionally, I represented the UK programme on international research group steering committees and review boards.
2016 - 2017 Environmental Geochemist, CE Geochem Ltd.
CE Geochem is a specialist laboratory and an SME. Designing and undertaking research and applied environmental geochemistry projects, mainly for clients working in the contaminated land sector. Specific projects I led involved exploring the efficacy and optimisation of remediation approaches such as, permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), chemical oxidation of groundwater pollutants (chemox) and mass stabilisation of contaminated soils.
2008 - 2016 Assistant Technical Manager / Doctoral Researcher, Coal Authority
Abandoned mines are a widespread and persistent source of aquatic pollution, preventing many waterbodies from reaching good chemical and ecological status. The Coal Authority, working in partnership with the Environment Agency and DEFRA, has been implementing a prioritised programme of characterising and remediating pollution from abandoned coal and metal mines throughout the UK. My role at the Coal Authority involved technical management and stakeholder engagement, with a specific remit for activities in the North East of England. In 2014 I was seconded to Newcastle University to complete a PhD, exploring how resources (such as geothermal energy and valuable metals) could be recovered from abandoned mines.聽

Professional membership

2019- Present Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) 2013- Present Chartered Scientist (CSci), the Science Council聽
2006- Present Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS), South West Regional Group Committee Member


Research interests

My research interests fall within the sphere of Environmental Geo-engineering and Geochemistry.聽 I am passionate about the role that geosciences can play in de-carbonising our economy and aim to deliver impactful applied research to help solve practical challenges faced by the geo-energy sector.

Other research

Research to-date has explored topics including:
- Low-enthalpy geothermal energy
- Geological disposal of radioactive waste
- Contaminant hydro(geo)logy and geomicrobiology
- Mining pollution
- Recovery of critical metals from waste