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PhD Studentship Opportunity: A Novel Ventilation-Pollution Nexus Framework for Offsetting Carbon by Smart Indoor Spaces

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: The studentship funding covers academic fees for UK students. International candidates can be considered for a full fee waiver if they have exceptional academic credentials with prior research publications.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th January 2022
Closes: 31st March 2022
Reference: PGR-2122-103

The considerable time people spend indoors has made indoor air quality (IAQ) more important than ever before. The biggest challenge is understanding the ventilation-pollution nexus as airtight buildings preserve energy but worsen the IAQ due to limited ventilation and vice-versa. This project aims to exploit low-cost sensors (LCSs), which can make rapid measurements and transmit data through the cloud, and to develop affordable tools which can be used to control the balance of ventilation for a safe IAQ as part of the government’s ambition to deliver Carbon Net-Zero.

The work would: (i) build a framework for the ventilation-pollution nexus for indoor spaces by defining LCS deployment strategies that represent various types of building occupancy; (ii) carry out real-world pilot studies by deploying a network of low-energy/low-cost sensors in indoor spaces, e.g. schools/offices/University buildings; (iii) develop easy to adopt data processing techniques for end-users to build a ventilation/IAQ database for diverse spaces; and (iv) develop a predictive model to exploit the wider adoption of LCSs and inform decision making as part of green innovation.

The expected outputs would include a novel verified ventilation-pollution nexus framework in the form of a tool and 3-4 open-access research publications to support decision making in various aspects of ventilation/IAQ.

The PhD project will be supervised by Professor Prashant Kumar, who is a founding Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) and co-supervised by Dr Nick Martin (NPL). The candidate will have the opportunity to closely work with the diverse and multidisciplinary GCARE team and collaborate with various ongoing projects and beyond. They will work with the NPL and relevant GCARE collaborators, and will be an active member of the Guildford Living Lab.

This project is open to international students.

Entry requirements

Suitable for a student with a degree in science (atmospheric, physics, chemistry, mathematics, geoscience or material Science), engineering (environmental, civil, mechanical, chemical, computer), or a closely related environmental/physical science discipline. Some experience of physicochemical characterisation of particles and data analysis would be extremely useful.

IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing, or equivalent for international students

How to apply

The interested candidates are requested to send their CV directly to Professor Prashant Kumar (p.kumar@surrey.ac.uk). Upon his confirmation, you are welcome to make a formal application through the Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD programme page.

Applications will be regularly assessed to interview candidates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Preference will be given to those candidates who are able to firmly start the programme by 1 April 2022 (or soon after by 01 July 2022).

Funding

The studentship funding covers academic fees for UK students. International candidates can be considered for a full fee waiver if they have exceptional academic credentials with prior research publications. International candidates can also apply on the basis of paying the difference between the home and overseas fees by their own means. You will also receive a standard EPSRC stipend of £15,609 per annum to cover your living expenses. Additional funding will be made available to present your work at a conference and for project-related costs.

Closing date for applications

31 March 2022

Application enquiries

For application enquiries, please contact Professor Prashant Kumar P.Kumar@surrey.ac.uk (and cc in nick.martin@npl.co.uk).

Studentship ref

PGR-2122-103

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