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PhD Studentships

Birmingham City University - CEBE Water

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) is making major investments in growing the quality and volume of research across its two constituent Schools (Schools of Engineering and the Built Environment, and Computing and Digital Technology) through investments in academic staff and researchers, doctoral students and new labs, workshops and equipment.

The Water, Environment and Communities Research Centre is located in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) and based at our City Centre Campus. The Centre undertakes applied research on a range of contemporary themes relating to water and the environment reflecting the diversity and interdisciplinary nature of issues concerning the development of resilient communities. The Centre undertakes a portfolio of applied interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange, education, community engagement and advice for decision makers and policy makers at all levels. The Centre’s work embraces and integrates local, national and international perspectives on water, focusing on environmental challenges towards sustaining resilient communities.

PhD Studentships:

We have a range of PhD studentships now available across the range of disciplines represented in the centre. There are a range of funding opportunities available with some studentships including full scholarships while others having partial or self-funding options. Some of these projects also include support from our collaborating organisations.

How to apply

The closing date for applications is 23.59 on Friday 28 June 2019.

To apply, please complete the project proposal form and then complete the online application  where you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement.

You can find further details on studying for a PhD and details of how to apply here

 

 

Project title:      Design planning and modelling of urban area in mitigating the risk of flood and drought with the application of CFD.

Reference:         CEBE-URBCFD

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Dr Andy Lim, Andy.lim@bcu.ac.uk, Prof Wenyan Wu, Wenyan.wu@bcu.ac.uk and Prof David Proverbs, David.proverbs@bcu.ac.uk. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Dr Andy Lim, Andy.lim@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

The rapid development of urban area and climate change are becoming a major concern in threatening the increased intensity and frequency of flooding and drought. Such act will be exacerbating more impacts to businesses and residents especially on the affected areas. There is a need of improving the catchment area and connectivity of the water transport system in mitigating the issue of surface water flood that could channel to a storage for later use during drought season. With the advancement of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), this proposed research project is motivated to incorporate the numerical techniques of CFD in the design and planning process of mitigating the issue of flooding and drought. The study covers the analysis of surface water flooding and improvement of water transport system during the occurrence of flood in the urban area with the potential of integrating artificial waterway as an alternative solution to drought. At such, this research project will brings great relevance within the West Midland regions especially in the urban areas that are known to be at high risk from flooding and drought.

Person specification:

A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in flood and drought risk management, urban flooding, civil engineering, water and environmental engineering and computational modelling or closely related fields having the knowledge of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite volume method and programming.

References:

Carly B. Rose, Luke Walker, “Inland Waterway Systems – a Solution to drought and flooding issues”, Water Resources in the Built Environment: Management Issues and Solutions, Chapter 14, Wiley, March 2014.

Councillor Liz Clements, “Managing the risk and response to flooding in Birmingham”, September 2018.

D. R. Shukla and K. Shiono, “CFD modelling of meandering channel during floods”, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Water Management, 2008.

Houda Nouasse, Lala Rajaoarisoa, Arnaud Doniec, Eric Duviella, Karine Chuquet, Pascale Chiron, Bernard Archimède, “Study of drought impact on inland navigation systems based on a flow network model”, International Conference on Information, Communication and Automation Technology, 2015.

James Andrew Griffiths, Fangfang Zhu, Faith Ka Shun Chan, David Laurence Higgitt, “Modelling the impact of sea-level rise on urban flood probability in SE China”, Geoscience Frontiers, 2018.

Rabih Ghostine, Georges Kesserwani, José Vazquez, Nicolas Rivière, Abdellah Ghenaim, Robert Mose, “Simulation of supercritical flow in crossroads: Confrontation of a 2D and 3D numerical approaches to experimental results”, Computers & Fluids, 2009.

S. Haider, A. Paquier, R. Morel, and J.-Y. Champagne, “Urban flood modelling using computational fluid dynamics”, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Water and Maritime Engineering, 2003.

 

Project title:      EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS FOR RESILIENT WATER COMMUNITIES

REF:                       CEBE-RESWAT

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Prof David Proverbs, Prof Wenyan Wu, (both from CEBE); and Dr Eirini Mavritsaki and Dr Panagiotis Rentzelas of the Centre for Applied Psychological Research. The project will also draw on industrial support from Severn Trent Water and the Consumer Council for Water. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Prof David Proverbs, david.proverbs@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

The typical water consumer has low engagement with water, sewerage and related environmental services.  This matters, because the water resource context is changing.  There are forecast water deficits in some areas and at the same time an increased risk of flooding due to changing weather patterns.  To offset this, and support water resilient communities, people are being asked to use less water, but tend to have low understanding of the issues behind this. 

While there is low engagement with services, analysis of user generated content on platforms such as Instagram shows that people can have a strong emotional connection with the water environment.  For example, people will post images or references to quality times spent in the outdoors enjoying rivers, lakes and bathing waters.

Research gap

This shows that water in the environment is for many, linked to a range of positive experiences and emotions. Previous research consistently finds that most people have low levels of understanding about how these fit into a bigger picture of water resources, or that revenue from these services contributes to aspects of the water environment that enhances quality of life and enables water resilient communities. 

The study of emotions and how they drive behaviour is established in the fields of psychology, behavioural sciences, and marketing. In terms of brands and marketing, communications have been found to have a greater impact if they make an emotional connection as emotions are known to power decision making.  However, the role of emotions does not appear to have been tested in terms of communications in the water sector, to see if this could enhance awareness and engagement with water and sewerage services, and better inform water resilient communities.    

The research gap is to identify whether, in the water sector context, communications which seek to establish an emotional connection are effective in terms of increasing engagement, and raising awareness which can lead to behaviour change.

Key research questions

  • Do people generally have a subconscious/emotional connection with the water environment?
  • If so, what are these emotional connections based on and how are they expressed?
  • How can this be translated into communications and messages for the water sector, i.e. about water resources, to support water resilient communications and encourage behaviour change?
  • How well do emotion based communications work in practice, compared to existing examples used by the industry?
  • How could this be further developed into a rigorous communications testing exercise for water and sewerage services and water resilient communities?

Principal beneficiaries and partners

Water companies and industry stakeholders, consumers, the environment.

Person specification:

MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in psychology, cognitive psychology or behavioural science. Previous experience in the domain of water and the environment would be desirable. 

For international candidates, a valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

References:

Cheung, J., Vazquez, D. & Conway, T., (2019), Social Commerce: Consumer Behaviour in Online Environments. Blazquez-Cano, M., Boardman, R., Henniger, C. & Ryding, D. (eds.). 1st ed. Springer

Environment Agency (2019) National Drought Group – EA Chairman’s Statement - March 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/national-drought-group-ea-chairmans-statement-march-2019

Lu, L., Deller, D. and Price, M. (2018) Price and Behavioural Signals to Encourage Household Water Conservation in Temperate Climates, UEA Working Paper

 

 

Project title:      Establishing the correlation between mixing speed and biogas production in anaerobic digestion

REF:       CEBE-BIOGAS

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Dr Dominic Flynn, Dr Roshni Paul and Prof Lynsey Melville. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Dominic Flynn, (Dominic.Flynn@bcu.ac.uk).

Overview:

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a widely used renewable energy technique to obtain biogas from biomass such as sewage sludge and other feedstock. Biogas production from AD is incredibly complex and is affected by factors such as mixing speed, impeller type, temperature and feedstock, to name a few. Mixing in AD reactors, or digesters, ensures that the microbes come into contact with the biomass and thus promote methane production through enhanced degradation mechanisms.

Mixing speed affects the rate of biogas production, although some research has shown that higher speeds have inhibited methane production. Sindall et al (2013) demonstrated a correlation between mixing speed and methane production in a lab-scale sewage sludge experiment. However, above a certain mixing speed, the methane production appeared to rapidly decrease. The hypothesis for this decrease was that small-scale turbulence was destroying the microbes and thus inhibiting methane production. This project seeks to determine the influence of small-scale turbulence on biogas production in lab-scale ADs for a range of feedstock. Data will be obtained using a combination of lab-based experiments and computational fluid dynamics simulations.

Person specification:

A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

Successful applicants will have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate first class degree and/or MSc distinction in a relevant engineering subject. Applicants must also demonstrate knowledge of AD or CFD

References:

Sindall, R., Bridgeman, J. and Carliell-Marquet, C., 2013. Velocity gradient as a tool to characterise the link between mixing and biogas production in anaerobic waste digesters. Water Science and Technology, 67(12), pp.2800-2806

Terashima, M., Goel, R., Komatsu, K., Yasui, H., Takahashi, H., Li, Y.Y. and Noike, T., 2009. CFD simulation of mixing in anaerobic digesters. Bioresource technology, 100(7), pp.2228-2233.

 

Project title:      THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FRAMEWORK TO SUPPORT THE RESILIENCE OF COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES TO FLOODING

REF:       CEBE-RESFLO

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Prof David Proverbs, david.proverbs@bcu.ac.uk and Dr Hong Xiao. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Prof David Proverbs, david.proverbs@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

Government policy on flood risk and previous research on flood resilience have up to now mainly focussed on residential properties. But greater attention is shifting to commercial properties and other critical infrastructure. According to the EA, 185,000 commercial properties are located in flood prone areas in England alone. These properties are valued at £801bn or 15.8% of the value of total buildings and 2.2 per cent of total assets in the UK (Bhattacharya, et al., 2013). Commercial properties have specific characteristics (size, scale, construction methods, business functions, customers, supply chain, etc.), and the financial loss from flooding to commercial properties can be significantly higher than that from the residential properties. This merits a targeted research on the resilience of commercial properties to flooding. This work would support the recently launched National Infrastructure Commission consultation to gather views as part of its new study into the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure network

Proposed Research

  • Review of BoK and literature around flood risk; impact on buildings; flood resilience; property level approaches; including UK and international knowledge and approaches
  • Development of new framework to help understand, improve and measure the resilience of commercial property to flooding

This will enable UK’s commercial properties to cope with future changes, disruptions, shocks and accidents – from increased risks of flooding due to climate change.

Person specification:

Masters degree holders with a first degree in a relevant built environment subject such as building surveying / civil engineering / construction management / property management / real estate.

For international applicants, a valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

References:

Adediji, T., Proverbs, D. Xiao, H. Oladokun, V. (2018) Towards a conceptual framework for property level flood resilience, International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol 8, No 4

Bhattacharya-Mis, N,  Lamond, J. ,Chan, F., Kreibich, H, Montz, B. Proverbs, D. and Wilkinson, S. (2018) ’Flood risk to commercial property: Training and Education Needs of Built Environment Professionals, International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, DOI 10.1108/IJDRBE-03-2017-0024

Lamond, J. , Bhattacharya-Mis, N,  Chan, F., Kreibich, H, Montz, B. Proverbs, D. and Wilkinson, S. (2019) Flood risk insurance, mitigation and commercial property valuation, Property Management (in press)

Lamond, J., Rose, C., Joseph, R. and Proverbs, D.G. (2016)  Supporting the uptake of low cost resilience: summary of technical findings (FD2682), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Proverbs, D.G. and Lamond, J. (2017) Flood Resilient Construction and Adaptation of Buildings, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.013.111

Rose, C., Lamond, J. Dhonau, M., Joseph, R. Proverbs, D.  (2016) Improving The Uptake Of Flood Resilience At The Individual Property Level, Special Issue of the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol 6, No. 3, pp 607-615. DOI 10.2495/SAFE-V6-N3-607-615

 

Project title:      Assessing the potential of using new technologies to supplement flood warnings and exposure assessment in areas at risk of surface water flooding

REF:       CEBE-FLOWAR

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Prof Wenyan Wu, Wenyan.wu@bcu.ac.uk, Dr Emma Bergin of Flood Re, emma.bergin@floodre.co.uk  (industrial adviser) and Dr Florimond Gueniat,  Florimond.Gueniat@bcu.ac.uk. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Prof Wenyan Wu, Wenyan.wu@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

There exist today a great many more data sources for flood monitoring and advances in technology which are now making it feasible for data to be used in a more dynamic way for flood forecasting. Historical approaches to forecasting flood extents have traditionally relied heavily on modelling approaches, which are frequently difficult to fully validate.  Advances in drone technologies and other in-situ water sensors are expanding rapidly in terms of their usability and reliability. This project is jointly sponsored by BCU and FloodRe as industrial partner, who specialise in modelling improved spatial flood footprints to assist with loss estimation

This proposed research project aims to evaluate the reliability of the new technologies, such as low cost sensors with Drone and Satellite image and its potential to assimilate data in with other data. The study will assess the potential for improved spatial flood footprints to assist with loss estimation and consider in more detail the benefits to the local community through an improved view of localised flooding. The research project will pilot within the Midlands region as Birmingham was subject to intense surface water flooding in May 2018 and is known to be at risk from flooding.

Person specification:

A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in remote sensing, robotics Electronic, Computing, Control Engineering, and computational computing or closely related fields and have knowledge of sensor technology and wireless sensor network, image processing, communication and IoT technology.

References:

Fava, M. et al, (2018) Flood modelling using synthesised citizen science urban streamflow observations, early view

Ochoa‐Rodríguez, S, Wang, L.P., Thraves, L., Johnston, A. and Onof, C. (2015) Surface water flood warnings in England: overview, assessment and recommendations based on survey responses and workshops, Journal of Flood Risk Management, 11/1

Speight,L. et al, (2016) Developing surface water flood forecasting capabilities in Scotland: an operational pilot for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Journal of Flood Risk Management, 11/2

 

Project title:      Using Virtual Reality games to encourage positive flood resilient behaviours among at risk property owners

REF:       CEBE-VIRREA

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Dr Andrew Wilson, Dr Vahid Javidroozi and Professor David Proverbs. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Prof David Proverbs, david.proverbs@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

Background

Flooding is a global phenomenon which causes widespread devastation, economic damages and loss of human life (Jha, et al., 2012). The dramatic increase in average annual economic and social costs of flood disaster can, to a greater extent, be explained by the effect of climate change, population growth and the increasing urbanisation of societies (Evans et al., 2004; OST 2007). Fay et al (2009) asserted that floods currently account for half of the fatalities across the world arising from natural disasters. In particular, there now appears to be clear evidence that climate change will lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme precipitation and other weather events (IPCC, 2007, IPCC 2012). For the UK this may well result in wetter and stormier winters (UKCIP, 2009). As such, it is predicted that the risk of flooding will at least double by 2080 (Evans et al., 2004) and that annual average damages will rise to some £4 billion by 2035 (Environment Agency, 2009). It is widely argued that structural flood defences alone are not enough to tackle the level and types of flood risk currently being faced by floodplain residents and that there is a need for a paradigm shift to integrated flood risk management, by balancing structural and non-structural measures (Jha et al,. 2012). Under this paradigm homeowners need to take more responsibility for managing flood risk at an individual property level, if not for the purpose of reducing flood damage on their properties but at least to reduce the intangible impact of their households, by for example, adapting their properties to potential future flood risk (ABI, 2006, Pitt, 2008, Lloyd, 2008, ABI, 2008, Halcrow, 2009, Joseph et al., 2011a). Given that there are over 5million homes at risk of flooding in England and Wales alone, this represents a significant challenge.

In recent years, UK Government policy has tended towards the encouragement of local ownership of flood risk challenges as part of the devolution strategy and the localism agenda. Additionally, flood risk management approaches have moved away from hard engineering defences towards the concept of living with water and making space for water.  This has seen a rise in the concept of resilience and with it towards more sustainable approaches to flood risk management. This focus on resilience has led to the promotion of property level flood resilience measures to help protect individual properties and importantly speed up the recovery / reinstatement process. Despite this and ongoing awareness raising campaigns and incentive schemes, there has hitherto been low up take of such measures within the at risk flood community. A number of barriers to uptake have been found to exist including cost, information, perception, appearance, psychological issues as well as a lack of expertise and advice on such interventions. Most property owners need professional, reliable and independent advice on the design and implementation of measures and interventions, taking into account the nature of flood risk, characteristics of the building and range of measures deemed appropriate. Previous research has found this expertise to be lacking among the professional guidance available.

Virtual, augmented and / or mixed reality solutions offers home owners or home builders a way of visualising and interacting with complex ‘what if‘  scenarios regarding managing home flood defences. This project will explore the use of virtual reality technologies to model the different risks factors that would typically be encountered in a vulnerable home. This will then result in the creation of a simulated environment where people can learn appropriate home flooding management strategies.  

Proposal

To model the different scenarios that are typically associated with home flooding.

To explore and evaluate the application of how virtual and augmented technology can be used to raise awareness and support the take up of property level flood resilience.

To develop a fun, entertaining yet informative simulation to support decision making process when designing which range of flood resilience interventions to adopt given the circumstances of the property.

To provide guidance and training for experts (building surveyors, loss adjusters, etc) and other property professionals in advising property owners on which measures to adopt.

To measure and evaluate the educational effectiveness of the simulation.

Person specification:

MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in Computer Games Technology / Design with skills in Unity or Unreal, C#, C++, knowledge of usability and user experience design and evaluation.

For international applicants, a valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

References:

Adediji, T., Proverbs, D. Xiao, H. Oladokun, V. (2018) Towards a conceptual framework for property level flood resilience, International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol 8, No 4

Bhattacharya-Mis, N,  Lamond, J. ,Chan, F., Kreibich, H, Montz, B. Proverbs, D. and Wilkinson, S. (2018) ’Flood risk to commercial property: Training and Education Needs of Built Environment Professionals, International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, DOI 10.1108/IJDRBE-03-2017-0024

Girard, C., Ecalle, J., and Magnan, A. (2012) Serious games as new educational tools: how effective are they? A meta‐analysis of recent studies, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

Presa Reyes, M. and Chen, S. (2017) A 3D Virtual Environment for Storm Surge Flooding Animation, 2017 IEEE Third International Conference on Multimedia Big Data (BigMM)

Proverbs, D.G. and Lamond, J. (2017) Flood Resilient Construction and Adaptation of Buildings, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Natural Hazard Science, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389407.013.111

Lamond, J., Rose, C., Joseph, R. and Proverbs, D.G. (2016)  Supporting the uptake of low cost resilience: summary of technical findings (FD2682), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Rose, C., Lamond, J. Dhonau, M., Joseph, R. Proverbs, D.  (2016) Improving The Uptake Of Flood Resilience At The Individual Property Level, Special Issue of the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, Vol 6, No. 3, pp 607-615. DOI 10.2495/SAFE-V6-N3-607-615

 

Project title:      The potential of constructed wetlands to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution

REF:                       CEBE-WETPOL

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting, in particular, of Dr Vasiliki Ioannidou (vasiliki.ioannidou@bcu.ac.uk) and Professor David Proverbs (david.proverbs@bcu.ac.uk). For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Dr Vasiliki Ioannidou (vasiliki.ioannidou@bcu.ac.uk).

The project is in collaboration with the Coal Authority, providing in-kind support through access to their facilities across the UK and obtained datasets as required.

Overview:

Storm water runoff typically contains and transports a wide range of pollutants, resulting in negative environmental effects with potential threats to ecosystems and health. Hundreds of runoff treatment ponds and constructed wetlands (CWs) intended to moderate these impacts are likely to be delivering sub‐optimal (and perhaps actually below legally required) levels of improvement in water quality due to poor understanding of flow patterns, hydraulic design parameters and the effects of vegetation. At the same time there is an increasing push to consider natural approaches to reducing flood risk. This is strongly supported by the EU Floods Directive, as the European Commission recognises that flooding is an increasing problem in Europe. This PhD research will generate a unique dataset to describe the influence of different types and configurations of aqueous system (i.e. CWs and ponds) hydraulic designs and vegetation on their fundamental flow, and treatment characteristics. Parallel aim of this PhD research is to quantify and assess the capability of CWs and ponds in the reduction of peak flows, in order to alleviate urban runoff during storm events. The proposed tools will ensure that future wetland and pond designs meet all their water quantity and quality requirements, and ecosystem services objectives for current legislation and the increasingly stringent EU regulatory framework anticipated over the next decade.

Person specification:

An MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in civil engineering, hydraulics or water engineering. Knowledge of environmental science and flood risk management would also be useful. 

For international candidates, a valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

References:

CIRIA (2007) The SUDS Manual, ISBN 978‐0‐86017‐697‐8.

Environment Agency (2012) Rural Sustainable Drainage Systems (RSuDS), ISBN: 978‐1‐84911‐277‐2.

German, J., Jansons, K., Svensson, G., Karlsson, D. & Gustafsson, L. G. (2005). Modelling of different measures for improving removal in a stormwater pond. Water Science & Technology, 52(5), 105-112.

Highways Agency (2006) Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Vol 4, Section 2, Pt 1, Vegetated Drainage Systems for Highway Runoff.

Ioannidou, V.G. & Arthur, S. (2018). Hydrological Response of a Permeable Pavement Laboratory Rig for Stormwater Management. Efficient Water Systems (EWaS) 3rd Conference, Lefkada Island, Greece, 27-30 June

Ioannidou, V.G. & Pearson, J.M. (2018). ‘Hydraulic & Design Parameters in Full-Scale Constructed Wetland & Treatment Units: Six Case Studies’. Environmental Processes.

Kjellin, J, Wörman, A, Johansson, H, & Lindahl, A. (2007). Controlling factors for water residence time and flow patterns in Ekeby treatment wetland, Sweden. Advances in Water Resources, 30(4), 838-850.

Min, J. H. & Wise, R. W., (2009). Simulating short-circuiting flow in a constructed wetland: the implications of bathymetry and vegetation effects. Hydrological Processes, 23, 830-841.

Nepf, H.M. (2012a). Flow and transport in regions with aquatic vegetation. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 44, 123-142.

Nepf, H.M. (2012b). Hydrodynamics of vegetated channels. Journal of Hydraulic Research, 50(3), 262-279. DOI: 10.1080/00221686.2012.696559.

Proverbs, D.G. Booth, C., Lamond, J. and Hammond, F. (2012) Solutions for climate change challenges of the built environment, Blackwell Publishing

Persson, J., Somes, N.L.G. & Wong, T.H.F. (1999). Hydraulics efficiency of constructed wetlands and ponds. Water Science and Technology, 40(3), 291-300.

SEPA, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (2003) “Ponds, Pools and lochans – Guidance on good practice in the management and creation of small waterbodies in Scotland” SEPA,SBN 1‐901322‐16‐5.

Shilton A. (2005) Pond Treatment Technologies, IWA Publishing.

Shucksmith, J. D. (2008). Impact of vegetation in open channels on flow resistance and solute mixing. PhD Thesis. Sheffield.

Somes, N.L.G., Persson, J. & Wong, T.H.F. (1998). Influence of Wetland Design Parameters on the Hydrodynamics of Stormwater Wetlands. Hydrastorm, Adelaide, 27-30 September, 1998, 123-128.

Stovin, V.R., Grimm, J.P, & Lau, S.D (2008). Solute Transport Modeling for Urban Drainage Structures. ASCE, 134(8). https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(2008)134:8(640)

Su, T.M., Yang, S.C., Shih, S.S. & Lee, H.Y. (2009). Optimal design for hydraulic efficiency on free-water-surface constructed wetlands. Ecological Engineering, 35, 1200-1207.

 

Project title:      Numerical modelization of the physics of wetlands

REF:                       CEBE-NUMMOD

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting, in particular, of Dr Vasiliki Ioannidou (vasiliki.ioannidou@bcu.ac.uk) and Dr Florimond Gueniat (florimond.gueniat@bcu.ac.uk). For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Prof Wenyan Wu, Wenyan.wu@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

Wetlands (i.e., marshes, bogs, and swamps) “are lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water” [8].

There is hence a whole spectrum of diverse types of wetlands, and it explains why modelizing a wetland is such a challenge. But they are known to be key in protecting the biodiversity: they provide shelters for plants and species, where breeding, and feeding occur [8].  Wetlands also have an immense value in flood protection and pollution control [4,6]. There is, consequently, a crucial need for understanding better the wetlands.

The project

The project will consist of creating a numerical model of a wetland. It will be solved using standard FEA techniques and software (ansys/fluent, openfoam, etc.). In particular, it will allow to quantify the hydraulic performance of the wetland, and possibly to derive an ad hoc model. It will be fitted and compared to the available experimental data. Validation of the model will be carried out.

In addition to this, the porosity of the plants as a medium will be investigated. The influence of various parameters will be quantified, including for example the inclination of plants with respect to the time of the year, the variation in the water velocity due to different flow regimes, and the wind interference. It will be carried out using uncertainty quantification techniques, such as chaos expansion or Sobol analysis, or by fitting the model on the data, using Bayesian techniques.

In order to validate the model, on site experimental field work may be arranged to obtain new datasets if required. The work is of high interest and importance to the Environmentalists, Water Authorities & Councils, Regulators, Modellers, Wetland Designers, and other relevant stakeholders


Person specification:

A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in remote sensing, fluid mechanics, civil engineering, Computing and computational computing or closely related fields and have knowledge of environmental science and data processing.

References:

[1] Ioannidou, V.G. & Pearson, J.M. (2018). ‘Hydraulic & Design Parameters in Full-Scale Constructed Wetland & Treatment Units: Six Case Studies’. Environmental Processes.

[2] Kjellin, J, Wörman, A, Johansson, H, & Lindahl, A. (2007). Controlling factors for water residence time and flow patterns in Ekeby treatment wetland, Sweden. Advances in Water Resources, 30(4), 838-850.

[3] Min, J. H. & Wise, R. W., (2009). Simulating short-circuiting flow in a constructed wetland: the implications of bathymetry and vegetation effects. Hydrological Processes, 23, 830-841.

[4] Nepf, H.M. (2012a). Flow and transport in regions with aquatic vegetation. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 44, 123-142.

[5] Shucksmith, J. D. (2008). Impact of vegetation in open channels on flow resistance and solute mixing. PhD Thesis. Sheffield.

[6] Somes, N.L.G., Persson, J. & Wong, T.H.F. (1998). Influence of Wetland Design Parameters on the Hydrodynamics of Stormwater Wetlands. Hydrastorm, Adelaide, 27-30 September, 1998, 123-128.

[7] Stovin, V.R., Grimm, J.P, & Lau, S.D (2008). Solute Transport Modeling for Urban Drainage Structures. ASCE, 134(8).

[8] Cowardin, L.M., Carter, V., Golet, F.C. and LaRoe, E.T., 1979. Classification of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. US Department of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife Service.

 

Project title: Wireless Sensor Networks for smart enhanced canal environments.

REF:       CEBE-WSNSECE

Contact:

The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting of Professor Michael Ward, michael.ward@bcu.ac.uk, Prof Wenyan Wu, Wenyan.wu@bcu.ac.uk and Dr Andy Lim, Andy.Lim@bcu.ac.uk. For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Professor Michael Ward, michael.ward@bcu.ac.uk.

Overview:

Wireless sensor networks are an exciting field of research that offer many opportunities for enhanced environmental monitoring and quality of life improvements. In this collaborative project, working with the Canal and Rivers Trust we wish to develop a system of wireless sensors that can not only monitor the canal environment, but also modify it creating a welcoming and pleasant urban space.

Using state of the art low power radio systems and energy harvesting technology you will develop a sensor network that can monitor a range of signals from acoustic to vibration and then develop software to identify the state of the canal tow path in terms of human acceptability and comfort. We will also investigate the potential ways in which the sensor network can modify the state of the network by for example, changing the lighting conditions, making audio announcements etc. A key feature of this research will be the need not only to work with and develop technology but also understand the nature of the urban tow path and how it is perceived by its users.

Person specification:

For this multidisciplinary project we are ideally we are looking for an engineer or physical scientist with an interest in smart sensor systems and programming, along with an interest in human behaviour and interaction with the built environment. As such planners and social scientists with a keen and demonstrable interest in sensor systems and programming are also encouraged to apply.

A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in engineering, urban flooding, civil engineering, urban planning, water and environmental engineering, computational modelling and / or programming.

References:

Carlson, E.A., Cooper, D.J., Merritt, D.M., Kondratieff, B.C. and Waskom, R.M. (2019) Irrigation canals are newly created streams of semi-arid agricultural regions, Science of the Total Environment, Volume 646, 1 January 2019, Pages 770-781

Mann, R.B. (1988) Ten trends in the continuing renaissance of urban waterfronts,  Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 16, Issue 1-2, October 1988, Pages 177-199

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th June 2019
Closes: 28th June 2019
   
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