Navya Thomas

Casual PicPh.D. Student, Interdisciplinary Doctorate Program, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE
M.Sc. Water & Wastewater Engineering, Cranfield University, UK
B.Tech, Biotechnology, Calicut University, India


Navya is a first year PhD candidate in Dr.Arafat’s research group. She completed her undergraduate studies in Biotechnology Engineering in 2008 and then worked in the UAE wastewater industry for two years gaining wastewater process design experience. Her keen interest to further enhance her technical knowledge guided her in pursuing her MSc degree in Water and Wastewater Engineering from Cranfield University, UK. Her MSc thesis under the supervision of Dr.Bruce Jefferson focused on the study of fate of nanoparticles during sewage treatment. As a student, she was a proud recipient of the British Water Award in 2011 for her project work titled ‘Design of full-scale sewage treatment works to upgrade/replace existing works to achieve AMP5 requirements’ for Severn Trent Water. On completion of her MSc in 2011, she worked as a Research Assistant for seven months with Severn Trent Water to understand the effectiveness of different elements of the sludge treatment process in relation to pathogen kill and to recommend the best method for achieving a log 2 pathogen reduction across the Severn Trent asset base. She returned to UAE in 2012 and continued to work in the water and wastewater Industry as a Process Engineer with a design firm and later as a consultant engineer with AECOM Middle East.

After her short stint in the industry, she has forayed back into the research world with a keen interest to play her part as a water crusader. One of her research topics will be to better understand the fouling propensities of vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) process and its mitigation measures. Studies on membrane distillation processes are gaining worldwide significance in the recent years as it is a low energy desalination alternative to reverse osmosis. She is also interested in decoding the scientific debate in existence for more than 50 years over the use and application of magnetized water.

In her leisure time, Navya enjoys dancing, pencil sketching and reading.


N. Thomas, M. Mavukkandy, E. Farrell, H. A. Arafat, S. Chakraborty, Feedstock Availability, Composition, New Potential Resources for Biohydrogen, Bio-Methane, Bio-Butanol Production via Biotechnological Routes, in Sustainable Biofuels Development: An Inevitable Option to Strengthening Energy Security, A. Chandel and R. Sukumaran (Editors), Springer Publishing Group. In press, due for publishing early 2016.