PhD Studentship: Real-life Enterprise Resilience in International Water Utilities

Cranfield University

Application Deadline: 30th May 2018
Start Date: ASAP
Eligibility: UK
Duration of award: 3 years 
Supervisors: Dr. Simon Jude, Dr. Heather Smith

Sponsored by the Water Research Foundation and 11 international water utilities, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £17,500 - £ 18,500 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for three years

An exciting three year fully funded PhD studentship at Cranfield University investigating real-life enterprise resilience in the water utility sector, funded by the Water Research Foundation and 11 international water utilities.

The long term goal of this research, is to further improve the maturity of the water utility sector’s capabilities in risk governance so they can become more resilient enterprises. This project will therefore explain what is required and how enterprise resilience can be achieved in practice.

The desire for resilient water utilities has fast become a keystone of utility governance. In 2016, a consortium of influential US bodies with strategic interests in utility governance published its ten attributes of effective utility management in: “Taking the Next Step: Findings of the Effective Utility Management Review Steering Group”. These included a call for “enterprise resiliency”, a utility-wide, strategic approach to organisational resilience, such that utility leaders and staff work together internally, and with external partners, to anticipate, respond to, and avoid problems; and that they proactively identify, assess, establish tolerance levels for, and effectively manage a full range of business risks (including interdependencies with other services and utilities, legal, regulatory, financial, environmental, safety, physical and cyber security, knowledge loss, and natural disaster-related) in a proactive way, consistent with industry trends and system reliability goals (Effective Utility Management Review Steering Group, 2016). Working in collaboration with international water utilities, this PhD Studentship will inform this renewed call for enterprise resiliency.


Utilities rely on the Water Research Foundation and others to translate scientific concepts into useable tools in practical formats that make a difference. There is no practice-led resource for water utility managers to respond to regulatory calls for improved resiliency. This PhD will provide such a resource.

The studentship provides a unique opportunity to work with 11 international water utilities and we are seeking a highly motivated candidate with an interest and aptitude for interdisciplinary research, particularly resilience, risk governance, decision-making, policy and social sciences. The candidate will be a member of the Cranfield Doctoral Network and will receive excellent support in terms of training and mentoring.

Entry requirements:

First or second class UK honours degree or equivalent and should be highly motivated an interest and aptitude for interdisciplinary research, particularly resilience, risk governance, decision-making, policy and social sciences. Some understanding the water utility sector and the risk and resilience challenges it faces, self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.


*To be eligible for this funding we require that applicants are from the UK

How to apply:

For further information please contact: Dr. Simon Jude, E:, T: (0) 1234 754295

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:

T: +44 (0)1234 758082

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