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Low-carbon framework for a resilient water network (RENU21/EE/MPEE/WU)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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Dr H Wu , Dr NS Beattie No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
Newcastle United Kingdom Communications Engineering Electrical Engineering Energy Technologies Physics

About the Project

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2021.

Everyday, consumers in the UK use millions of gallons of safe, clean water that relies on a “hidden” complex network infrastructure. In addition, this infrastructure also plays a critical role in improving the quality of the UK’s river water through wastewater treatment. As a result of the growth in small-scale renewable energy and low carbon technologies such as solar photovoltaics and electric vehicles, there is now an opportunity to integrate these technologies with the water network with the twin aims of achieving significant carbon emissions savings associated with operating the network and creating new benefits. These benefits include for example, improved power quality, better demand management and increased resilience. The overall goal of this project therefore is to design, create and validate an engineering framework which satisfies these aims and can be implemented economically.

This is a joint project between Northumbria University and Northumbrian Water and a considerable part of the project will be based at Northumbrian Water where you will be supervised by industry experts and develop valuable business and innovation skills. The project would particularly suit a capable graduate from an electrical and electronic engineering or physics background who has wider interest in problem solving. As a student at Northumbria University, you will join a ReNU CDT cohort and participate in a fully-funded EPSRC 4-year training programme.

The project is supervised by Dr. Haimeng Wu and Prof. Neil Beattie as well as Anthony Browne, Energy Development Manager, at Northumbrian Water. For informal enquiries please contact [Email Address Removed]

The application closing date is 7 February 2021 and we will aim to have the interviews take place in early March. Please note that interviews, should they be arranged, will be online rather than in person due to COVID-19.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Please note eligibility requirement:

• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.

• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note that applications must include all of the following to be considered:

  1. A research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), and include the advert reference (e.g. ReNU21/…).
  2. You must upload with your application at least 2 reference letters

Deadline for applications: 7 February 2021

Start Date: 1 October 2021

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

* please note: to be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

• Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or

• have settled status, or

• have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or

• have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student.

Funding Notes

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International (including EU) students, and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2020/21, this was £15,285 pa) and full tuition fees. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges). 

We have a limited number of International awards available.   Note that up to 6 offers of a PhD place will be made for the ReNU CDT projects advertised by Northumbria University.

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