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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Predicting Gamma Dose Rates Based on Limited Information

University of Surrey - Physics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: The studentship will cover University fees and student stipend at normal research council (EPSRC) rates. Funding is provided for the whole duration of the PhD.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 3rd January 2019
Closes: 28th February 2019

Studentship description

This PhD will seek to develop a robust methodology to predict gamma dose rates in contaminated underground structures based on limited direct information. It is essential that buried and potentially contaminated structures can be quantitatively assessed to facilitate future decommissioning of nuclear sites. The research will contribute into the EPSRC and industry funded Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommission programme (TRANSCEND). This is a £9.4 million research collaboration, across 11 UK universities, addressing the challenges associated with nuclear and radioactive waste. 

The project objective is to minimise and, where possible, avoid intrusive sampling and analysis whilst still acquiring sufficient information to justify management options for radioactively contaminated underground pipes and other structures at UK nuclear sites. Following experimental assessment, algorithms will be developed to infer the distribution and activity concentrations of selected gamma emitting isotopes as a function of structure type, extent of contamination, depth of burial and environmental factors (e.g. soil moisture content). 

The project represents an opportunity for a student to undertake experimental radioactive measurements, develop computational and mathematical data analysis approaches whilst also acquiring experience of conducting research campaigns. This studentship sits within a larger research effort, with contributions to the TRANSCEND programme from the University of Surrey Physics and Chemistry Departments. The studentship will be based within the Physics Radiation and Medical Physics Group and the student will also benefit from interactions within the Surrey interdisciplinary TRANSCEND research group and the broader TRANSCEND university collaboration. 

The project will begin in October 2019 and finishes in October 2022.

Entry Requirements

UK or EU applicants who hold a First or 2.1 UK honours degree in a relevant subject area (Nuclear Physics, Radiation, Environmental Science Data Analysis), or a 2:2 alongside a good master’s degree (a distinction is usually required). 

The studentship is available to UK or EU candidates (for EU candidates the standard EPSRC residence requirements apply).

If English is not your first language, you will be required to have an IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above (or equivalent), with no sub-test score below 6. 


The studentship will cover University fees and student stipend at normal research council (EPSRC) rates. Funding is provided for the whole duration of the PhD. This studentship forms part of TRANSCEND (Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning), which brings together a consortium of 11 universities. View Website

How to apply

Applications can be made through our Physics PhD course page 
Please state the project title and supervisor clearly on all applications.

Closing date for applications:

Thursday 28th February 2019

Application enquiries

Dr Caroline Shenton-Taylor, 01483 688759

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