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Dr Joanna Renshaw

Strathclyde Chancellor'S Fellow

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Personal statement

I joined the University of Strathclyde in April 2014 as a Senior Lecturer. I am a microbiologist and radiochemist with extensive experience of research into microbial interactions with radionuclides and metals, working at the interface between microbiology and analytical & radio-chemistry.

My research is mainly focused on understanding how microorganisms can affect the chemistry and transport of radionuclides in the environment. These microbial effects can be exploited to develop novel methods for limiting the migration of radionuclide contaminants in the environment and to treat radioactive wastes.

Other recent research projects have investigated the interactions of silver nanoparticles with bacterial biofilms, remediation of petroleum contaminants and microbial transformations of metals.


Biogenic hydroxyapatite : a new material for the preservation and restoration of the built environment
Turner Ronald J., Renshaw Joanna C., Hamilton Andrea
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces Vol 9, pp. 31401-31410, (2017)
Influence of riboflavin on the reduction of radionuclides by Shewanella oneidenis MR-1
Cherkouk Andrea, Law Gareth T. W., Rizoulis Athanasios, Law Katie, Renshaw Joanna C., Morris Katherine, Livens Francis R., Lloyd Jonathan R.
Dalton Transactions, (2015) 10.1039/C4DT02929A
Bacterially produced calcium phosphate nanobiominerals : sorption capacity, site preferences, and stability of captured radionuclides
Handley-Sidhu Stephanie, Hriljac Joseph, Cuthbert Mark, Renshaw Joanna, Pattrick Richard, Charnock John, Stolpe Bjorn, Lead Jamie, Baker Stephen, Macaskie Lynne
Environmental Science and Technology Vol 48, pp. 6891-6898, (2014)
Kinetics of urease mediated calcite precipitation and permeability reduction of porous media evidenced by magnetic resonance imaging
Handley-Sidhu S., Sham E., Cuthbert M. O., Nougarol S., Mantle M., Johns M. L., Macaskie L. E., Renshaw J. C.
International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology Vol 10, pp. 881-890, (2013)
Ion exchange capacity of Sr 2+ onto calcined biological hydroxyapatite and implications for use in permeable reactive barriers
Sasaki Keiko, Tsuruyama Shoichi, Moriyama Sayo, Handley-Sidhu Stephanie, Renshaw Joanna C., Macaskie Lynne E.
Materials Transactions Vol 53, pp. 1267-1272, (2012)
Radiotolerance of phosphatases of a Serratia sp. : potential for the use of this organism in the biomineralization of wastes containing radionuclides
Paterson-Beedle M., Jeong B. C., Lee C.H., Jee K. Y., Kim W.H., Renshaw J. C., Macaskie L. E.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering Vol 109, pp. 1937-1946, (2012)

more publications

Professional activities

International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology (Journal)
Peer reviewer
Changyun Roh
Bursary Proposals
RCUK Energy Programme Scientific Advisory Committee meeting
Nuclear Academics Discussion Meeting
EPSRC UK - Republic of South Korea Civil Nuclear Collaboration

more professional activities


Underpinning the safety case for the use of colloidal silica based grout for waste containment
Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Pedrotti, Matteo (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator)
X-ray Computed Tomography beamtime awarded by Diamond Light Source (STFC) at equivalent funding value of £95,940. Abstract of funded proposal: In the proposed experiments we aim to develop the scientific case to underpin the use of novel colloidal silica based grouts for radioactive waste containment. We aim to use the element specific capabilities of synchrotron based X-ray CT at beamline I13-2 to investigate the effects of the grout injection on the geochemistry of Sr, Cs and U. We will also utilize the time resolved capabilities to determine the influence of complex solid matrices on the (injection) behaviour of the silica grouts.
Period 06-Sep-2017 - 11-Sep-2017
Impacts of colloidal silica grout injection on the geochemistry of radioactive wastes
Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Bots, Pieter (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Pedrotti, Matteo (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Dec-2016 - 31-Mar-2018
Prosperity Partnership: Delivering Enhanced Through-Life Nuclear Asset Management
McArthur, Stephen (Principal Investigator) Dobie, Gordon (Co-investigator) Gachagan, Anthony (Co-investigator) Hamilton, Andrea (Co-investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Michie, Walter (Co-investigator) Pierce, Stephen (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator) West, Graeme (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Sep-2017 - 31-Aug-2022
Development of Novel Treatments for Carbon-based radioactive wastes
Renshaw, Joanna (Principal Investigator) Lunn, Rebecca (Co-investigator) Switzer, Christine (Co-investigator)
"The nuclear energy and weapons programmes of the past 70 years have created a legacy of waste and contamination around the world. Amongst the very diverse and complicated wastes arising from these programmes are a range of orphan wastes. These are wastes which are not suitable for treatment in existing processing plants and for which there is no currently accepted treatment option.

This project will determine the feasibility of a wholly new approach to treatment of orphan radioactive wastes. The overarching longer-term research vision is for a three-stage waste treatment process. First, smouldering the waste (in the same way that coal smoulders in a fire) to burn the carbon and produce a small volume of stable radioactive ash that can be encapsulated (generally in cement) and placed into a container (comprised of steel or concrete) for future geological disposal. Second, capturing safely the radioactive emissions that are released by the smouldering process. These are in the form of microscopic particles of radionuclides and carbon dioxide gas that contains the radioactive element, Carbon 14. This capture will make use of similar technologies to those being explored to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to tackle climate change. Bacteria will be used to stimulate the production of carbonate and/or phosphate minerals, removing the radioactivity from the gases and capturing them into a stable mineral (i.e. into a rock) . Finally, this process of capturing the radioactivity into a mineral will be performed as part of the encapsulation process either for the radioactive ash (prior to placing it in a container) or for other radioactive wastes, so as to reduce the final volume of radioactive material that requires disposal.

In order for any treatment process of orphan wastes to be accepted by the UK regulatory authorities, it is critical that no radioactive gases are emitted. Hence, this research project will focus on demonstrating the feasibility of capturing (1) 14C as a stable carbonate and (2) other particulate radioactive emissions into stable phosphate minerals. The project will focus on demonstrating feasibility for a single wasteform, graphite, which is the largest volume orphan waste. If feasibility can be demonstrated, other research projects will follow to explore the smouldering process and the use of the carbonate and phosphate minerals for encapsulation of the radioactive ashes, created by the smouldering process."
Period 01-Jul-2017 - 30-Jun-2019
Immobilisation and Containment of Radioactive Waste using Colloidal Silica-Based Grout
Lunn, Rebecca (Principal Investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Apr-2016 - 31-Mar-2018
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTA - University of Strathclyde) | Turner, Ronald Joseph
Hamilton, Andrea (Principal Investigator) Renshaw, Joanna (Co-investigator) Turner, Ronald Joseph (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jul-2018

more projects


Civil and Environmental Engineering
James Weir Building

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