Technology is developing at a rapid pace, providing significant opportunities to improve how we live and work in the world. The development of IoT, cloud data and analytics, and machine learning/AI, have significant potential to help in the monitoring and management of drinking water and wastewater systems. Although water utilities are beginning to embrace these technologies and seeing improvements in parts of their networks, there are still big gaps in the knowledge of what to do with all this new data and improve performance. Riskoa Ltd, in collaboration with Northumbria Water Ltd, are developing a centralised information management system that is based on the WHO endorsed, and now DWI regulated, Drinking Water Safety Planning methodology, with the potential to integrate a number of technologies and sensors to provide a more centralised way of managing water system safety and performance.
The deployment of the Digital DWSP system above will provide more real time visibility to water operators but there will be a number of underlying research questions on how to solve certain performance related problems; and this activity through the combination of engineering knowledge and data analytics will form the foundation of this PhD. The student will be required to work with this system framework and investigate complicated causes of events, understand why they occur, and look at the best ways to solve them.
Candidates for this role should have strong mechanical/civil engineering background as a minimum and an interest/experience in data analytics, cloud applications, and sensors is seen as a major plus. They will be based at the University of Leeds, with regular work on site at NWL and/or Riskoa’s office. There is the option to be based for a period at the water company if this is desired. Alongside their internal supervision, they would also be externally supervised by the CEO of Riskoa Ltd (who has over a decade of experience in the application of DWSP for both UK companies and UNICEF/WHO), and the senior water safety officer at NWL. Reporting to these external companies would be expected quarterly, but provides another unique opportunity for the student to gain some commercial insights alongside their period of study.