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Research Fellows Directory

William Sloan

Professor William Sloan FRSE

Research Fellow


University of Glasgow

Research summary

Bill Sloan is an Environmental Engineer whose formal tertiary education was in mathematics and physical sciences. Through a series of prestigious fellowships he has made the transition to biological sciences, where he has been in the vanguard of combining molecular microbiology and mathematical modelling to effect change in engineered biological systems. His research interprets the data from rapidly advancing sequencing technologies using rigorous mathematical methods to lend genuine insight on the assembly and functioning of microbial communities. His theories resonate within the broad field of biotechnology. The practical applications of his work range from conventional water supply and treatment technologies to microbial fuel cells to generate electricity from wastewater, low temperature anaerobic digestion, manipulating human associated microbes and, most recently, synthetic biology. Theory in general is of profound practical importance in any engineered system because it gives the quantification required for prediction, manipulation and hence rational design. The deeply engrained empiricism of Environmental Engineering has been a significant barrier to the application of the rapidly developing biological science base to engineered biological systems. Thus Prof Sloan’s research is having wide spread impact that is likely to last long into the future.

Grants awarded

Ecologically engineering the next generation of environmental biotechnologies

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Oct 2015 - Sep 2020

Value: £25,000