PhD Studentship: Air Quality and the Sources of Air Pollution in Vietnam (REEVES_UENV18EE)

University of East Anglia - School of Environmental Sciences

Start Date: October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Professor Claire Reeves

Project description: Problem
The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes poor air quality as the largest environmental health risk and attributes 8 million deaths each year to air pollution. Vietnam has undergone rapid population growth and industrialisation, which has led to it becoming one of the most polluted countries in the world, ranked 170 out of 180 countries for air quality (Environmental Performance Index, Yale University, 2016).

Aim
To quantify the sources of air pollution in Vietnam to provide informed advice for air quality management.

Methodology
This PhD is associated with a UK-Vietnamese Partnership on Air Pollution and Human Health (APHH) which has funded the “2-Cities” project led by the co-supervisor.  It is in collaboration with the Universities of Manchester, York and Cranfield and the Vietnam National University, involves field campaigns in the cities Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi and will produce the first comprehensive data set on air pollution in Vietnam. It provides an exciting opportunity to investigate the sources of air pollution in Vietnam and so provide informed policy advice.

The PhD involves using software packages to statistically analyse the field data and running a regional, atmospheric chemistry model (WRF-Chem) to simulate the conditions observed during the campaigns. The latter will require a consideration of the emissions of nitrogen oxides and organic compounds from vehicles, industry, cooking, and burning (rubbish and biomass), how pollutants are chemically transformed and transported in the atmosphere. The field data will be used to evaluate the model, and simulations will be performed to investigate viable ways of meeting WHO air quality guidelines.

Training
The student will gain field experience, going to Vietnam during the campaign, and receive training in numerical weather/chemistry modelling and analysis of data. This will provide them with transferable skills related to computer programming and modelling, data analysis and visualization, model and measurement uncertainties. They will go on training courses in Atmospheric Science, Computational Atmospheric Science and the WRF-Chem model. The student will gain experience in working collaboratively and with international partners.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, comprising the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, with over twenty other research partners. Undertaking a PhD with the EnvEast DTP will involve attendance at mandatory training events throughout the course of the PhD.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 12/13 February 2018.

For further information, please visit www.enveast.ac.uk/apply.

Person specification: Background in maths, chemistry, physics, computing or environmental science. Interest in air quality, and enjoyment of computer programming.

EnvEast welcomes applicants from quantitative disciplines who may have limited background in environmental sciences. Excellent candidates will be considered for an award of an additional 3-month stipend to take appropriate advanced-level courses in the subject area.

Minimum entry requirement: 2:1 or equivalent.

Funding notes: Successful candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship - in 2017/18, the stipend is £14,553. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a stipend. For non-UK EU-resident applicants NERC funding can be used to cover fees, RTSG and training costs, but not any part of the stipend. Individual institutes may, however, elect to provide a stipend from their own resources. 

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England