|Funding for:||UK Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||£21,000 bursary per year|
|Placed On:||13th March 2023|
|Closes:||7th June 2023|
Duration: 4 years
1st Supervisor: Gabriela Dotro 2nd Supervisor: Bruce Jefferson
Sponsored by EPSRC, Welsh Water, Thames Water, United Utilities and Scottish Water, this studentship will provide a bursary of £21,000 per year with fees paid. All training and placement (overseas/industry) costs will also be covered, subject to supervisor approval.
This PhD position offers an exciting opportunity to do pioneering research on the recovery of nutrients and metals from water treatment sludge to embrace the circular economy and protect our environment. This project combines microbiology, chemical engineering, and wastewater treatment principles to develop a proof-of-concept reactor that harnesses natural processes for resource recovery, enabling resilient and sustainable water treatment within planetary boundaries.
Students will benefit from being part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience (WIRe), a world leading collaboration between three UK universities. The WIRe programme includes a bespoke training programme in technical and personal skills development, and provides opportunities for overseas travel and access to world leading experimental facilities (PhDs under this scheme are for a duration of four years full time).
The production of potable water and enhanced treatment of wastewater are heavily dependent on chemical use. Currently both use fresh coagulant once before disposal, which generates waste and requires further mining of minerals to generate fresh coagulants. There is an urgent need to re-think how resources are used respecting planetary boundaries. Work to date has been based on chemical recovery processes, which can have prohibitive financial and environmental costs. This PhD opportunity postulates that recovery can be made sustainable using innovative engineered bioreactors.
The project aims to understand, improve and accelerate the use of microorganisms for iron-based coagulant recovery. The work will explore the conditions under which specific organisms can naturally cycle iron from waste into a recoverable product for local reuse, and propose ways to optimise this. As such, the ideal candidate will have a strong background in either microbiology or an engineering discipline, and a desire to apply it for a tangible environmental benefit. The work will be primarily in the laboratory, with frequent contact and opportunities for intellectual discussions with the expert team within Cranfield Water.
Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. This project would suit microbiologists, engineers from chemical, environmental or ecologial backgrounds, and environmental scientists. The ideal candidate should have some understanding of biochemistry kinetics and/or microbial culturing. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills and able to resolve challenges independently, with an interest in applied scientific research.
The studentship is open to UK and international students (including EU countries) however due to funding rules, no more than 30% of the projects in this cohort can be allocated to international students.
How to apply
For further information please contact:
Name: Dr Gabriela Dotro
If you are eligible to apply, please complete the online application form.
Type / Role: