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FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes

Design of simple and effective rural drinking water treatment systems using solar light

Project Description


The aim of this project is to design effective and simple water treatment systems for rural drinking water in Asia/Africa. You will be optimising and designing reactors (or flow systems) for drinking water treatment using 3D printing, advanced microengineered materials and a unique cutting edge Swedish indoor solar light set-up that replicates pure sunlight (the only research installation of this in the UK), allowing you to perform solar light research under controlled conditions.

Although the millennium goal 7b to halve by 2015 the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation has been met, there are still 650 million people without safe water and 315000 children under five die every year from diarreah.

There is thus a huge need to develop decentralised water treatment systems that require little maintenance for rural communities that struggle with both water quality, disposal and distribution systems.

The simplest way to treat rural drinking water is to deactivate microbes through a combination of heat (from the solar light) and the UV-light using PET bottles.

You will be working with experienced supervisors on an innovative reaction system and you will learn a range of useful tools and methodologies. You will learn how to design and develop new reactor types, get an appreciation of trade-offs between small and intermediate scale and how to apply a range of analytical tools. You will also use ‘design of experiments’ and evaluate your experiments.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Emma Emanuelsson ( )


The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or equivalent). Candidates whose first language is not English should have an IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each module) or equivalent.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: January 2020

Funding Notes

Funding will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend of up to £15,009 per annum (2019/20 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for up to 3.5 years. Overseas applicants are not eligible to apply for this funding.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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