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Advancing the development and application of spatial decision support tools for the sustainable reuse of brownfield land


Project Description

CENTA2 is a consortium of research intensive Universities and research institutes that are working together to provide excellence in doctoral research training. Cranfield University is proud to be working alongside these partners to create the next generation of scientific leaders in environmental science.

This CASE PhD studentship is hosted by British Geological Survey and is intended to produce a major step forward for the sustainable reuse of brownfield land by developing innovative spatial decision-support tools using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methods. Tools will be trialed and developed to quantify sub-surface constraints including soil and groundwater contamination and land instability. Applications will be made to Cranfield University but the student will be based at the British Geological Survey at Keyworth in Notinghamshire. http://www.bgs.ac.uk/contacts/sites/keyworth/home.html

Project Highlights:

1) Development of new spatial decision support tools to bring brownfield land back into beneficial use
2) Driving innovation in digital land-use planning
3) Using innovative numerical modelling and multi-criteria decision analysis methods to enhance the value and understanding from large spatial data sets

Overview

This CASE PhD studentship is intended to produce a major step forward for the sustainable reuse of brownfield land by developing innovative spatial decision-support tools using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) methods. Tools will be trialled and developed to quantify sub-surface constraints including soil and groundwater contamination and land instability.

Currently disparate spatial datasets and data architecture support the land-use planning system. A range of formats, resolutions and types of data are held by various stakeholders, making unified and systematic geo-processing difficult. Gaining intelligence from large environmental datasets is a key challenge for modern society that underpins the UK Industrial Strategy (Infrastructure and AI & Data) (BEIS, 2017). Even more so when the challenge relates to building new homes and businesses on post-industrial brownfield land, another key UK Government policy (House of Commons, 2016; BEIS, 2017). The Government target is to build 300,000 new homes per year for the next 20 years, where brownfield land will be prioritised.

Innovation in digital planning is facilitating a step change in the planning system to speed up the delivery of new homes (Future Cities Catapult, 2016). This CASE PhD studentship is designed to provide the scientific knowledge and understanding needed to advance this area for risk-based brownfield land redevelopment.

New approaches to spatial decision-making for brownfield redevelopment will be produced by working with end-users including WSP and Groundsure Ltd., (CASE partners) and Homes England (Industry Advisor). Example applications include estimating soil and groundwater remediation costs for large urban areas, site-based maps of the geotechnical properties of soil and their suitability for certain types of building foundations and multi-hazard constraints mapping. Common to each is the spatial data processing and which algorithms are selected to describe relationships between the datasets and the problem being evaluated – this is MCDA and where the scientific challenge lies.

The student will work with industry, government and academia to co-design, co-develop and co-deliver innovative spatial decision support tools to solve current challenges facing the widespread reuse of brownfield land. Project outputs will be directly applicable to the UK but also provide significant export opportunities, especially for official development assistance countries.

For full project description please visit: hhttp://www.centa.org.uk/themes/climate-environmental-sustainability/bgs1/

Key dates
• Application deadline – 21st January 2019
• Interviews (to be conducted via Skype) – w/c 11th February 2019
• Selection panel – 21st February 2019
• Universal acceptance date – 20th March 2019

How to apply -
To apply for one of the Cranfield University projects you will need to complete our online application form.

1. Please state the name of the project you will to apply for
2. When asked how you intend to fund your postgraduate studies please state that you wish to apply for a NERC CENTA2 studentship.
3. You will also be required to complete and submit the CENTA2 studentship application form and attach it to the application form.
Funding Notes

Funding Notes

CENTA2 studentships are for 3.5 years and are funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). In addition to the full payment of their tuition fees, successful candidates will receive the following financial support.
Annual stipend, set at £14,777 for 2018/19
Research training support grant (RTSG) of £8,000
Further guidance about eligibility is available at RCUK Terms & Conditions

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