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EPSRC PhD Studentship: Real Time Forecasting of Catchment Water Quality to Improve Supply Resilience

University of Sheffield

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Tax-free stipend for UK students of £19,000 per year.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 17th February 2021
Closes: 29th March 2021
 

The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Water Centre in collaboration with Thames Water and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience.

EPSRC PhD Studentship in:  Real time forecasting of catchment water quality to improve supply resilience

Stipend: This post will fully cover university tuition and provide a tax-free stipend for UK students of £19,000 per year.

Closing Date for Applications: 29th March 2021

Start Date: 27th September 2021 (contract duration 4 years)

In England and Wales approximately two-thirds of drinking water comes from surface waters. The resilience of this supply is being increasingly challenged by the combined effects of population growth, climate change, pollution and requirements to improve environmental flows. The National Infrastructure Commission, DEFRA, OFWAT and the EA have called for an increase in the resilience of water supply systems, and for an increasing focus on controlling public health risks from pollution at catchment level. However, a lack of integrated monitoring and modelling capabilities across the rural and urban raw water domains (and related scales) means that water quality risks to water resource infrastructure systems are not currently well understood.

This project will utilise Thames Water and other environmental datasets to develop monitoring and modelling strategies to effectively evaluate risks to water supply systems from potential chemical and biological hazards in the River Thames catchment. Together with the academic team this will involve developing and testing modelling tools, with a specific focus on understanding acute water quality impacts from intermittent, rainfall driven sources such as urban drainage systems or diffuse runoff. The project outputs will include operationally deployable tools to inform water abstraction operations of water quality risks.

The research programme to be completed in this project will be undertaken as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience (CDT WIRe). CDT WIRe is a collaboration between the three leading UK Universities in water resilient infrastructure. Students will benefit from a bespoke training scheme delivered by world leading experts from academia and industry, access to world leading experimental and computational facilities as well as close and regular contact with industry and end user partners.  CDT WIRe is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community, and offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies. For further information on the CDT WIRe scheme visit the web site at: https://cdtwire.com/

The project will be supervised by Dr Shucksmith and Prof Speight in collaboration with partners from Thames Water.

Eligibility Criteria

Normal EPSRC funding eligibility applies to this award, so students must have a relevant connection with the UK (usually established by residence).

The selection criteria for the position are;

  • A good honours degree (or equivalent experience) in Engineering, Physical Science, Mathematics, Environmental Sciences or a related subject.
  • Enthusiasm for research
  • Good level of written and oral communication skills, as appropriate for disseminating research and communicating with project partners.
  • Willingness to collaborate with other researchers, industry and end-users.
  • Aptitude for research in a relevant area (e.g. surface water quality, water resources, sensing and monitoring systems, data/time series analysis) as evidenced by previous experience.

How to apply

Interested candidates should email a covering letter and their Curriculum Vitae to Lindsay Hopcroft (l.hopcroft@sheffield.ac.uk).

For information and informal enquiries please contact Dr James Shucksmith: j.shucksmith@sheffield.ac.uk. 

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