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Photo of Prof David Butler FREng

Prof David Butler FREng

Head of Engineering


Telephone: 01392 724064

Extension: (Streatham) 4064

David Butler is the Head of Engineering and Professor of Water Engineering at the University of Exeter and is an internationally-leading researcher, teacher, manager and consultant in the water sector.  He has a bachelor’s degree in civil & structural engineering from Cardiff University, a master’s in public health engineering and a doctorate in environmental engineering, both from Imperial College London. He is a chartered civil engineer and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management and the International Water Association. At Exeter, he is a Director of the Centre for Water Systems, Director of the EPSRC WISE Centre for Doctoral Training and formerly Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences.

Research Interests

He specialises in urban water management, including sustainable and resilient water systems, rainwater management systems, smart infrastructure and water-energy-carbon interactions. David has authored / co-authored some 300 published papers, in addition to 12 books (including an internationally adopted graduate text book on Urban Drainage), published best practice guides and edited conference proceedings. His research has been funded continuously by EPSRC since 1995. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Urban Water Journal.

Industry partnerships

Much of David’s research has industrial application and he has worked with many companies including: ACO, Arcadis, Arup, Black & Veatch, CCWater, Environment Agency, HR Wallingford, Hydro International, Jacobs, Northumbrian Water, Scottish Water, Severn Trent Water, Shall, Southern Water, Stantec, South West Water, United Utilities, WRc.

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental engineering
  • Hydraulics
  • Urban drainage
  • Water and wastewater treatment
  • Urban water management.