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  Enhanced spectroscopy-based in-situ environmental monitoring: development of novel materials and machine learning techniques

   Cardiff School of Engineering

  Dr Fei Jin  Wednesday, May 01, 2024  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Self funded 3.5 year PhD in Engineering

Project Summary

Water and soil health has been jeopardized globally by various types of contaminants, posing significant threats to the biodiversity and food security. Accurate, continuous and ideally in-situ and real-time monitoring of water/soil quality and nutrient/contaminant dynamics become essential to enable fast responses from the decision makers. Traditional water quality monitoring is mainly laboratory based and labour/cost intensive, consisting of sampling, pre-treatment and analysis with advanced facilities such as inductive coupled plasma-optical emission or mass spectroscopy (ICP-OES/MS) and ion chromatography (IC). In recent years, passive samplers with handheld spectroscopic/colorimetric devices gained popularity in environmental monitoring due to their easy deployment and fast response. This proposed PhD project will make a key contribution to in the development of novel water/soil quality monitoring materials, devices and methods. Specifically, this project will (i) develop novel and durable functional materials for in-site monitoring of the environment and (ii) employ portable/handheld devices for rapid detection and quantification of analytes and (iii) adopt machine learning techniques for automated data analysis.

The successful candidate will be based at School of Engineering, Cardiff University, and will be part of the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC), an internationally renowned research group in the areas of waste management and ground engineering. The candidate will work with a PhD supervisory team with expertise on materials development, environmental monitoring and analytical techniques. Throughout this project, the candidate will acquire invaluable experimental and analytical skills in designing and fabricating advanced materials, developing non-destructive and in-situ testing techniques with portable devices, mastering data analytics. They will have opportunities to work with government authorities and are highly encouraged to communicate their research results in national/international conferences and high-impact journals.

Academic Criteria

Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or a MSc degree in an area of Civil and Environmental Engineering or Materials Engineering. Knowledge of water chemistry and machine learning techniques are desirable. Previous laboratory experience would be advantageous but not essential.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

Contact for further information

Please contact Dr. Fei Jin () to informally discuss this opportunity

How to apply

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( ) including;

·        an upload of your CV

·        a personal statement/covering letter

·        two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

·        Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of 1st October 2023, 1st January 2024, 1st April 2024 or 1st July 2024.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference FJ-ES-2023

Deadline for applications

01/05/2024. We may however close this opportunity earlier if a suitable candidate is identified.

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This is a self funded project
This opportunity is available to home or international candidates.

Register your interest for this project

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