PhD student - Rupert Goddard
Sponsor - Saputo Dairy UK (formerly Dairy Crest)
Supervisor - Sean Comber
I successfully applied for a PhD at the University of Plymouth that was being sponsored by Dairy Crest (which has since been renamed Saputo Dairy UK following its acquisition by Saputo). Saputo Dairy UK manufactures Cathedral City and Davidstow Cheese as well as specialised ingredients used in infant formula. Saputo has a large cheese production plant in Cornwall, referred to as the Davidstow Creamery, and as part of the production process they treat their liquid waste extensively before it is discharged into a local river. This is monitored and regulated by the Environment Agency.
With plans to increase production levels, Saputo Dairy UK has been liaising with the Environment Agency to review the permits and controls under which they are allowed to operate. My research has been to investigate any up and downstream impacts on the river chemistry and biota associated with the treated discharge from the Creamery. This has included some computer modelling on different scenarios and the subsequent effects, which has been a useful skill for future opportunities. Ultimately, Saputo Dairy UK wants to better understand its relationship with the local river – so that they can take appropriate actions and measures to reduce their impact on the environment.