Computational Mechanics and Design Group

Department of Civil & Structural Engineering

Dr Abigail Hathway


+44 (0) 114 222 5702

Department of Civil and Structural Engineering Sir Frederick Mappin Building Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 3JD


Abigail graduated from a degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of Leeds in 2003. Following a period working abroad she returned to the University of Leeds and completed her PhD in 2008 entitled “CFD modeling of pathogen transport due to human activity”. Abigail moved to The University of Sheffield in 2008 to take up a post as Research Associate in a large interdisciplinary team studying the design of urban riversides. In 2009 she was appointed as Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering.

Research Interests:

Abigail’s research focuses on fluid flow in the built environment, incorporating building simulation, particularly CFD, with experimental and field work.

Her PhD considered CFD modelling of bioaerosols released in hospital environments due to nursing activities and was completed at the University of Leeds. The research involved the combination of both airflow modelling with bio-aerosol experiments and field sampling. The role of human activity on indoor air continues to be an active research interest, and has developed to consider a variety of built environments, and is often developed through interdisciplinary collaboration. Her main interest is in the interactions of people with their building and the resulting impacts on air flow across the building envelope and between interior spaces. Such research is important for understanding indoor air quality and the transport of contaminants in indoor spaces, as well as the evaluating the true potential for natural ventilation in buildings.

Further research into urban microclimates complements the indoor air research by considering the role of urban design on pedestrian comfort and the implications for the fresh air entering buildings.

Recent activities and achievements

Member of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers


PhD, CFD Modelling of Pathogen Transport due to Human Activity, University of Leeds, 2008
MEng, Architectural Engineering, University of Leeds, 2003


(2017). The environmental impact of phenolic foam insulation boards. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (London), 170 (2), pp. 91-103. (Full Text)., Abstract: The use of external wall insulation is on the increase, with phenolic foam being a popular insulation choice. However, if designers are to make informed decisions on material choices, the environmental impact of the insulation should be considered and the payback period of the associated impacts...
(2016). Model-Predictive Control for Non-Domestic Buildings: A Critical Review and Prospects. Building Research & Information, (Full Text)., Abstract: Model-predictive control (MPC) has recently excited a great deal of interest as a new control paradigm for non-domestic buildings. Since it is based on the notion of optimisation, MPC is, in principle, well-placed to deliver significant energy savings and reduction in carbon emissions compared to...
(2015). An environmental impact comparison of external wall insulation types. Building and Environment, 85 (EN4), pp. 182-189.
Maidment CD, Jones CR, Webb TL, Hathway EA, Gilbertson JM (2014). The impact of household energy efficiency measures on health: A meta-analysis. Energy Policy, 65 (4), pp. 583-593, Abstract: It is widely accepted that interventions designed to promote household energy efficiency, like insulation, central heating and double glazing, can help to reduce cold-related illnesses and associated stress by making it easier for residents to keep their homes warm. However, these interventions may...
(2014). Acoustics of weirs: Potential implications for micro-hydropower noise. Renewable Energy, 71 (11), pp. 351-360. (Full Text).
(2014). Monitoring Performance of a combined water recycling system. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering Sustainability, 167 (3), pp. 108-117. (Full Text).