Professor Neil Armitage

PrEng, PhD

​Head of Department
Urban Water Management


Neil Armitage has BSc(Eng), MSc(Eng) and PhD degrees from the Universities of Natal, Cape Town and Stellenbosch respectively. He is a professional engineer, registered with the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) with more than 30 years’ experience – both as a consultant and an academic – in a wide range of water-related work. This includes water supply, sewerage, stormwater management, coastal engineering, river engineering, water treatment and wastewater treatment. Inter alia, he was responsible for the development of the Water Research Commission guidelines on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD).

He has been employed by UCT since 1995, initially as Senior Lecturer, then from 2005 as an Associate Professor, and finally from 2015 as a Professor teaching various courses in hydraulics, hydrology, urban water management and professional practice. He served as Deputy Dean (Undergraduate Affairs) in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment 2011-12. Currently he is Head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Director of the interdisciplinary Urban Water Management research unit. He has authored or co-authored some 90 publications and supervised 15 masters’ students and two PhD students to graduation. In 2013 he received the Water Research Commission of South Africa’s Award for Human Capital Development in Water and Science Sectors.

Research interests

  • Urban water services
  • Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
  • Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)
  • Sanitation in informal settlements

Undergraduate course lectures

  • Engineering Hydrology (CIV3044F)
  • Urban Water Services (CIV3047S)
  • Professional Practice (CIV4041F)

Postgraduate course lectures

  • Integrated Urban Water Management (CIV5107Z)



Milestones and awards

  • Water Research Commission Award for Human Capital Development in the Water and Science Sector

Publications summary

(i) Journal papers: 21 published, 2 in press
(ii) Chapters in books: 4 published
(iii) Conference papers: 52 published
(iv) Conference posters: 2
(v) Invited papers (not peer reviewed): 4
(vi) Major research reports: 12
(vii) Videos on research material: 3

Publications highlights

  • Various reports and papers on the measurement and removal of urban litter from stormwater systems
  • Various reports and papers on the management of greywater and sewerage in informal settlements
  • South African Guidelines for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
  • South African Guidelines for Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)


  • Armitage, Neil & Albert Rooseboom: “The link between Movability Number and incipient motion in river sediments”. Water SA, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 89-96, ISSN 0378-4738 / 1816-7950, Water Research Commission, January 2010.
  • Ashipala, N. & N.P. Armitage: “Impediments to the adoption of alternative sewerage in South African urban informal settlements”. Water Science and Technology, 64.9, pp. 1781-1789, doi: 10.2166/wst.2011.746, IWA Publishing 2011.
  • Rodda, N., K. Carden, N. Armitage & H.M. du Plessis: “Development of guidance for sustainable irrigation use of greywater in gardens and small-scale agriculture in South Africa”. Water SA, Vol.37, No. 5 WRC 40-Year Celebration Special Edition, pp. 727-738, ISSN 0378-4738 / 1816-7950, 2011.
  • Milandri, S.G., K.J. Winter, S.B.M. Chimphango, N.P. Armitage, D.N. Mbui, G.E. Jackson & V. Liebau: “The performance of plant species in removing nutrients from stormwater in biofiltration systems in Cape Town”. Water SA, Vol.38, No. 5 pp. 655-662, ISSN 0378-4738 /1816-7950, October 2012.
  • Taing, L., S. Pan, J. Hilligan, A. Spiegel & N. P. Armitage: “Challenges facing sanitation-provision partnerships for informal settlements: a South African case study”. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 03.2, pp. 230-239, ISSN 2043-9083, 2013.
  • Carden, K. & N.P. Armitage: “Assessing urban water sustainability in South Africa – not just performance measurement”. Water SA, Vol. 39, No. 3 WISA 2012 Special Edition 2013, pp. 345-350, ISSN 0378-4738 (Print) / ISSN 1816-7950 (On-line).
  • Fisher-Jeffes, L. & N.P. Armitage: “Charging for stormwater in South Africa” WaterSA, Vol. 39, No. 3 WISA 2012 Special Edition 2013, pp. 429-435, ISSN 0378-4738 (Print) / ISSN 1816-7950 (On-line). 
  • Fisher-Jeffes, L., K. Carden, & N.P. Armitage: “The future of urban water management in South Africa – achieving water sensitivity”. Water Science & Technology: Water Supply, 1-10. Doi:10.2166/ws.2014.060. 2014.