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Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Adapting Cities: Interoperable Solutions for Improved Flood Resilience

University of Leeds

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance matching the Research Council UK rate (£14,777 for 2018/19)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th December 2018
Closes: 31st December 2018

Value: Funding duration is 3 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course. Applicants must be available to start before 31 March 2019.
Number of awards: One (subject to competitive allocation).
Contact Dr David Dawson to discuss this project further informally. 

Project description

The urban environment contains multiple infrastructure systems (e.g. roads, land use, energy) and in each system, stormwater management options are available (e.g. permeable roads, retention ponds, dams). Yet, the ability of these systems to interact or interoperate with each other to enhance the overall capacity of the system (i.e. the city) to manage stormwater is less well understood.

Exploring and optimising these interactions could increase the functionality of flood risk management designs and produce gains in efficiency and productivity while reducing overall systems costs. This research aims to embed system-based solutions in practice and optimise the use of storm water management solutions that interoperate with existing infrastructure assets.

The studentship will join a world leading consortium of academics across the UK on the EPSRC “Achieving Urban Flood Resilience in an Uncertain Future” project (2016-2019),, and will extend the work investigating the application of an interoperable tool newly developed and designed for promoting interoperable Blue-Green and grey infrastructure design solutions in city scale catchments.

This project will focus on the development of the tool for use by regional practitioners (local authorities, planners, etc.), further enhance the current case study cities (Leeds and Newcastle), and the determination and assessment of new and developing cities (e.g. Ebbsfleet Garden City, London). By developing new flood risk maps and adaptation solutions, the results will be used to produce robust stakeholder co-developed adaptation pathways and business cases for an urban catchment that can be validated in utilised globally.

This interdisciplinary project will provide an exciting opportunity to develop research expertise in an area of urban flood resilience of international significance, and will provide significant opportunities for research impact at a city scale.

This project will be supervised by Dr David Dawson and Professor Phil Purnell.

Entry requirements

A degree equivalent to a UK upper second class honours (2:1), or higher, in engineering, physical or environmental sciences, or geography. Experience in using geographical information systems (GIS) will be an advantage.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the 'Adapting Cities: Interoperable solutions for improved flood resilience’ as well as Dr David Dawson or Professor Phil Purnell as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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