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  Integrating Construction 4.0 Technologies to Facilitate Digital Transformations within Construction Circular Economy

   Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

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  Dr Mohamed Abadi, Dr Patrick Manu, Dr Obuks Ejohwomu  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

 The Management of Project (MoP) Research Group is a vibrant ecosystem of cutting-edge research initiatives and activities within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE). The group delivers a very successful suite of MSc programmes in project management and it is at the forefront of several strands of research within project management and engineering management. The group has successfully delivered impact-laden research in collaboration with national and international organisations within industry, academia and government. Notable research endeavours include Project X (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council), the Discovering Safety Research programme via the Thomas Ashton Institute, and studies for UK government, Association of Project Management (APM), Project Management Institute (PMI) Association and several other funding agencies.

Drawing on the research successes of the group and as part of significant research investment by the Department of MACE, this studentship forms part of a cluster of PhDs to further enhance our research activity. More information about research themes and academic staff within the MoP research group can be found at

Project Brief: The undoubted improvements of the UK construction industry regarding waste reduction appear to have made a little contribution to a full transition to circular economy (CE). Statistics on waste report reveals high recovery rates from construction and demolition waste (90%); and yet, construction remains responsible for 60% (130MT/year) of all UK waste. There is evidence in the literature that Industry 4.0 technologies provide a new pathway to digital transformations within the construction CE. New CE concepts and initiatives (e.g. material passports, building stock management, urban miming, waste tracking… etc.) can benefit from the use of these technologies. Such an integration between Industry 4.0 and CE paradigms has potentials for achieving efficient resource usage, improving waste management, promoting collaborative remanufacturing, and introducing new CE business models. Nevertheless, the use of Industry 4.0 is still associated with barriers. Thus, this project will contextualise the systematic integration of Industry 4.0 technologies to facilitate digital transformations within the construction CE and explore dynamics of this integration at the industry level.

Application information:  Information about the application process and a link to the online application form can be found at The online application form does not list individual project titles; when submitting an application, please select the Management of Projects PhD programme. Take note of the application checklist and provide the requested documents. 

Please include a research proposal for the project you wish to apply for. The title of the proposal should be the title of the project. The proposal should be 3-5 pages and cover: research background (including the knowledge gap); aim and objectives; methodology; expected contribution/impact; and references.

When completing the application include the name of the lead supervisor as the potential supervisor.

 Applicants must have obtained or be about to obtain either a First class UK honours degree or the combination of an Upper Second class UK honours degree and a UK master’s degree awarded with Merit or higher (or international equivalents), in an appropriate area of management, engineering or technology e.g. construction engineering and management, civil engineering, architecture and project management.

In addition, applicants must have the following skills/qualities:  show awareness of relevant topics/theories e.g. sustainable development, construction circular economy, Construction 4.0 technologies, behavioral economics, political theory, decision-making tools and techniques; show awareness of alternative research methods available to researchers in the Management of Projects and Social Science; candidates should show initiative and be able to propose relevant suggestions and develop a research proposal to take this research forward; and show evidence of independent and self-managing working styles.

Desirable skills/qualities include: Evidence of high-quality research about relevant topic(s) and the ability to produce publications of international standard; and considerable construction-related work experience.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder), carer support funds for conferences, and peer support networks for parents and carers.

All appointments are made on merit.

The University of Manchester and our external partners are fully committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.  

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Business & Management (5) Economics (10) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Funding for PhD projects is provided by the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE). Funding comprises: tuition fees at the overseas or home/UK student rate; and a tax-free stipend at the standard UKRI rate (£16,062 in 2022/23).

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