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PhD Studentship in Developing large scale MECs for treatment of sludge return liquor

School of Engineering

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Dr E Heidrich No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Number of awards:

Start date and duration:
September 2020 for 4 years.

The wastewater treatment industry needs to be resilient to the confounding pressures of climate change and increased regulation of effluent quality. Disruptive new technologies and treatment platforms are likely to be part of the solution to this resilience. One such technology is the use Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs) which yield current directly from the digestion of waste by electrogenic organisms, functioning as a biological battery, meaning energy and resources can be recovered directly from wastewater treatment. This research will further optimise our reactor design and operation to treat sludge return liquor while yielding energy, using pilot scale testing rigs at real wastewater treatment sites. We will gain real insight into the operational needs for this technology, and understand its place in the future water infrastructure.

EPSRC ( and Northumbrian Water Ltd (

Name of supervisor(s):
Elizabeth Heidrich (

Eligibility Criteria:
Masters level degree in Engineering, Chemical Engineering or related field. The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

How to apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system (

You will need to:

• insert the programme code 8209F in the programme of study section
• select PhD Water Infrastructure & Resilience (WIRe) as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code ENG073 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code ENG073 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications
You should also send your covering letter and CV [Email Address Removed]

For further information please contact [Email Address Removed] or [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and annual living allowance of at least £19,000 (standard UKRI rate PLUS industrial top up)
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