Bob Eden

Bob Eden

Prof, Prof

Personal profile


Bob Eden is an inventor and technology entrepreneur, working across the disciplines of biology, engineering and materials science.  He has thirty-five years’ experience in the oil & gas sector, specialising in surface and subsurface water management.

In 1980 he joined Manchester to study for a master’s degree in Corrosion Science and Engineering, and in 1981 commenced a doctorate in the same field.  Whilst at UMIST he became the resident Shotokan karate instructor, gaining full colours from the Athletics Union, and in the year of his graduation was recipient of the 1985 WD Oldham Sportsman of the Year prize.

Bob’s first 15 years’ industrial experience was at CAPCIS, a spinout company within UMIST with a remarkable global reputation in corrosion failure investigation and corrosion management.  Here he collaborated with a number of academic departments in the areas of oilfield reservoir souring, marine corrosion, biofouling control and the electrochemical behaviour of microbiological fouling.

Between 1997 to 2003, he was appointed an Honorary Research Fellow to the Department of Medicine, for technology transfer of microbiological corrosion monitoring techniques into the clinical environment to investigate the electrochemistry of human cancer cell cultures and their response to chemotherapies.

In 2000, he moved from UMIST and founded Rawwater Engineering Company Limited, an R&D company that built physical simulators in which to conduct O&G research.  In 2001 he re-associated with Manchester when he was appointed Visiting Entrepreneurial Fellow by Professor David Auckland, then Dean of Faculty of Science and Engineering, to the newly formed Manchester Science Enterprise Centre

To date, Bob has raised £15M in research and consultancy funding, attracting support from the major global oil operators, including BP, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Saudi Aramco, Equinor and Total, and the venture capital community to build and trial prototype electrochemical monitoring equipment for UMIST’s spinout Oncoprobe Ltd.

His technology developed initially for the oilfield has included subsurface numerical flow simulations to forecast geomicrobiological souring, the evaluation of oil reservoir souring in pressurized bioreactors, design of geothermal well fines removal equipment, development of oil well repair & abandonment metal sealing technology and investigations of potable water well failures.

Rawwater is, in some ways, akin to an extramural university department.  It has the World’s most extensive pressurized souring bioreactor suite and data-base, enjoying collaborative academic studies with the universities of Newcastle and Aberdeen, and in particular a strong relationship with Manchester.

In 2016, Bob’s underwater metal sealing and leak suppression technology was adapted for use in the Nuclear sector, and in 2019 extended to the Defense sector.

Latterly, he has shared his industrial experience and contacts in the field of technology exploitation with academia, and in August 2019 was appointed Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Research interests

2015 – 2017, Industrial collaborator with Dr Sophie Nixon, PDRA (Geomicrobiology Group, Manchester): Shale Geomicrobiology and Hydraulic Fracturing.

2016 -2018, Industrial collaborator with Luke Gleadall, Visitor Team Coordinator (Aquaponics Facility, Manchester Museum) see:

2017 to date, Industrial collaborator with Dr Sophie Nixon NERC Industrial Innovation Research Fellow (Geomicrobiology Group, Manchester):Unearthing the role of microbiology in shale gas extraction: a bioreactor approach.

2017 to date, Industrial supervisor of Lisa Gidman, PhD student (Geomicrobiology Group, Manchester): Microbial Impacts on Shale Gas Exploitation.


Supported Mathematical Sciences in REF2104 to achieve 4* impact for case study ‘Oilfield Reservoir Souring Research and Development’.  See:

Supervision information

Budiono K. Saputra, MSc 1995 (Chemical Engineering, Manchester): Development of Inclined Tube Settlers for a Seabed Rawwater Injection System

Andreas Scherrieble, MSc 1996 (Chemical Engineering, Manchester): Modelling the Activity of Sulphate-reducing Bacteria in a Packed Bed Bioreacto

Amy Buckingham, BSc 2013 (Natural Sciences, MMU): The Viability of River Restoration Options for Jibcroft Brook, Warrington, Cheshire

Sunday Ochella, MSc 2014 (School of Engineering, Aberdeen): Determination of a Reliability Prediction Methodology for a Novel Permanent Well Abandonment Plug. [This disseration won the Safety and Reliability Society (SaRS) student prize 2013-2014]


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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