This fully funded PhD project will enable nature-based solutions for phosphorus removal from wastewater treatment to be implemented at scale, thus protecting receiving water courses, and contributing to climate change adaptation. The research will establish the design envelope for the use of treatment wetlands by combining applied scientific research on phosphorus carbon cycling with real-world implementation challenges. The student will work with six UK water utilities and the Environment Agency, conducting field work in full-scale systems, developing innovative wetland adaptations, and assessing those innovations from a business standpoint to map the suitability of NbS for sustainable phosphorus capture. Read moreRead less
Along with global population growth and industrialisation, the widespread application of phosphorus (P) has resulted in substantially increased discharge of P into the environment and elevated occurrence of eutrophication in natural waters. Domestic wastewater can be one of the major sources of P if not specifically targeted at the design stage. Treatment wetlands (TWs) are a type of nature-based solutions (NbS) that can potentially capture P from wastewater whilst providing multiple benefits including increasing biodiversity, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through carbon sequestration, and contribute to the wellbeing of the local community.
In the UK, Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan, the Water Industry’s National Environment Programme, and the EA2025 Plan have created a unique opportunity to consider TWs to deliver P removal concomitant with the provision of environmental and societal co-benefits. Long term P capture is still one of the key challenges for all types of TWs. The net behaviour of a TW as a sink (P capture) or source (P release) depends on the predominant biogeochemical pathways operating within a TW at any given time. These, in turn, depend on TW design, operation and maintenance. In addition, whilst co-benefits are typically a key reason for TW preference over grey alternatives, limited information exists on the impact of integrating co-benefits on P removal performance and maintenance requirements. The rapid development of science-based evidence and design envelope for TWs for P removal is critical to enable timely contributions to the environmental ambitions.
The project will focus on surface flow TWs including systems combined with grey technologies. This work fits within the Environment Agency’s wastewater target of reducing P loadings from treated wastewater by 80% by 2037 against a 2020 baseline. The project will establish the design envelope for TWs targeting P removal and delivery of compatible co-benefits including carbon sequestration, and provide recommendations for their design, operation and maintenance.
Cranfield University has significant expertise across the themes of Water and Environment on researching, enhancing, and helping to implement nature-based solutions on the ground. The Cranfield NbS team is leading several TWs projects, which are financially supported by EPSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering, the Environment Agency and UK water utilities. The National Water and Wastewater Treatment Facility located on campus enables rapid testing of technologies, including TWs. This PhD is funded by five major UK utilities and Environment Agency, who are seeking to further implement nature-based solutions for wastewater treatment and delivering multiple benefits to the society.
The project outputs are expected to include guidance on how to design TWs specifically for long term P capture and delivery of co-benefits. As the work is sponsored by both the future owners of the wetlands (assets) to be created based on the guidance and the environmental regulator, it will have a tangible impact on wetland implementation at UK level and the associated improvement in the natural environment.
The project is fully funded for both UK and international students, covering fees plus a stipend of £19,000 per year for three years. The combination of engineering, science and business components of the work will result in a well-rounded graduate at the end of the project, with an understanding of scientific research as well as real world experience in driving innovation through to market.
As well as the stipend and fees, we will support the student to participate in at least one international conference and one national industrial conference to both disseminate key outputs and develop a professional network. Specific laboratory skills training, such as wastewater treatment technology (water and wastewater engineering), water/soil quality analysis (environmental chemistry), molecular microbiological analysis (microbiology) and greenhouse gas measurements (analytical chemistry), will be provided as needed. The student will also be mentored and expected to write peer-reviewed publications and project reports to industry partners.
In addition to the transferrable skills programme (communication, project management and leadership) on offer at Cranfield, the candidate will work with their academic supervisors to tailor a personal development plan based on experience, and career aspirations. At the end of the project the successful applicant will be very well positioned to have a successful career in the water sector or in an academic role.
If you are eligible to apply for this PhD, please complete the online application form stating the reference No. SWEE0205
For further information please contact:
Dr Gabriela Dotro
E: g.c.dotro @cranfield.ac.uk
For further information please contact:
Dr Tao Lyu
E: t.lyu @cranfield.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)1234 758082
Our shared, stated values help to define who we are and underpin everything we do: Ambition; Impact; Respect; and Community. Find out more here. We aim to create and maintain a culture in which everyone can work and study together and realise their full potential.
Diversity and Inclusion
As an inclusive and diverse doctoral centre, we welcome applications from all highly motivated individuals, regardless of background, identity or disability.
Advanced Experimental Methods In Propulsion Aerodynamics Ph D , Cranfield University ;, United Kingdom, 21 days ago
Award type - PhD Start date - 05 Jun 2023 Duration of award - 3 years 1st Supervisor: Dr Pavlos Zachos 1st Supervisor: Professor David MacManus Applications are invited for fully funded PhD studen...
Phd Studentships In It, System Sciences, And Software Engineering , The Open University ;, United Kingdom, 9 days ago
AVAILABLE FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2023 The School of Computing & Communications invites applications for full-time PhD studentships starting on 1st October 2023. Project proposals are sought in the foll...
Ph D Studentship In Astrobiology Available From 1st October 2023 , The Open University ;, United Kingdom, about 22 hours ago
Full Time, 3 Year Studentship available from 1 October 2023 Closing Date : 22 February 2023 - 12:00 Noon AstrobiologyOU invites applications for the following project: How to Find Life on Mars: I...
Ph D Studentships In The Faculty Of Wellbeing, Education And Language Studies , The Open University ;, United Kingdom, 7 days ago
Based in Milton Keynes, UK The Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) is offering full-time funded PhD studentships for an October 2023 start. The PhD programme is located in ...
Phd Studentship In School Of Engineering And Innovation , The Open University ;, United Kingdom, 15 days ago
AVAILABLE FROM 1 OCTOBER 2023 Three full-time three-year PhD studentships are available, one in each area as follows: ENGINEERING, MATERIALS, ENERGY AND ELECTRONICS DESIGN AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMEN...
A Centre For The Study Of Global Development (Csgd) And Luminos Fund Co Funded Full Time Ph D Studentship , The Open University ;, United Kingdom, 21 days ago
The School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport, Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)invites applications for a 3-year full-time PhD studentship starting in October 2023...