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PhD Studentship Opportunity: A novel ventilation-pollution nexus framework for offsetting carbon by smart indoor spaces

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Prof P Kumar  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The considerable time people spend indoors has made indoor air quality (IAQ) more important than ever before. The biggest challenge is understanding the ventilation-pollution nexus as airtight buildings preserve energy but worsen the IAQ due to limited ventilation and vice-versa. This project aims to exploit low-cost sensors (LCSs), which can make rapid measurements and transmit data through the cloud, and to develop affordable tools which can be used to control the balance of ventilation for a safe IAQ as part of the government’s ambition to deliver Carbon Net-Zero.

The work would: (i) build a framework for the ventilation-pollution nexus for indoor spaces by defining LCS deployment strategies that represent various types of building occupancy; (ii) carry out real-world pilot studies by deploying a network of low-energy/low-cost sensors in indoor spaces, e.g. schools/offices/University buildings; (iii) develop easy to adopt data processing techniques for end-users to build a ventilation/IAQ database for diverse spaces; and (iv) develop a predictive model to exploit the wider adoption of LCSs and inform decision making as part of green innovation.

The expected outputs would include a novel verified ventilation-pollution nexus framework in the form of a tool and 3-4 open-access research publications to support decision making in various aspects of ventilation/IAQ.

The PhD project will be supervised by Professor Prashant Kumar, who is a founding Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) and co-supervised by Dr Nick Martin (NPL). The candidate will have the opportunity to closely work with the diverse and multidisciplinary GCARE team and collaborate with various ongoing projects and beyond. They will work with the NPL and relevant GCARE collaborators, and will be an active member of the Guildford Living Lab.

This is a 4-year EPSRC i-CASE studentship project, commencing from January 2023.

How to apply

The interested candidates are requested to send their CV directly to Professor Prashant Kumar ([Email Address Removed]). Upon his confirmation, you are welcome to make a formal application through the Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD programme page.

Applications will be regularly assessed to interview candidates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Entry Requirements 

Suitable for a student with a degree in science (atmospheric, physics, chemistry, mathematics, geoscience or material Science), engineering (environmental, civil, mechanical, chemical, computer), or a closely related environmental/physical science discipline. Some experience of physicochemical characterisation of particles and data analysis would be extremely useful.

IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing, or equivalent for international students

Funding Notes

The studentship funding covers academic fees for UK students. International candidates can be considered for a full fee waiver if they have exceptional academic credentials with prior research publications. International candidates can also apply on the basis of paying the difference between the home and overseas fees by their own means. You will also receive a standard EPSRC stipend of £16,062 per annum to cover your living expenses. Additional funding will be made available to present your work at a conference and for project-related costs.


Facilities at the GCARE’s Air Quality Lab:
Guildford Living Lab:
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