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Re-wetting of peatlands for enhanced restoration (WET-PEAT)

   Civil Engineering

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  Prof Mark Healy, Dr Mingming Tong  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Fully funded EPA PhD Opportunity

“Re-wetting of peatlands for enhanced restoration (WET-PEAT)”


Bord na Móna has recently transformed into a sustainable, green business, which now emphasises the use of its land assets for renewable energy and resource recovery in support of government policy and national decarbonisation commitments. As part of this transformation, the Peatlands Climate Action Scheme (PCAS) will, over the coming years, establish engineering and ecology works on over 30,000 ha of bogs to accelerate natural restoration processes. These actions will increase carbon storage and reduce carbon emissions, improve water quality and water attenuation, and will enhance biodiversity ​​while mitigating the risk of wildfires. The PCAS process involves stakeholder engagement, the development of drainage management and rehabilitation plans, and a range of other types of assessments. To date, this work has been extensive and has involved extensive consultation with various stakeholders, as well as a thorough flow and water quality monitoring regime.  

The PhD student recruited in this project will be registered and based at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway). Working closely with the project team at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, the student will (1) assess and supplement the work of PCAS by applying state-of-the-art modelling techniques to a representative selection of Ireland’s peatlands to provide an empirical evaluation of the work of PCAS and, where needed, to conceptualise design, construct and evaluate alternative enhancement measures (2) deliver recommendations and, where needed, carry out changes in the management and execution of rehabilitation measures (3) provide an evaluation of the water quality and hydrological improvements, and (4) disseminate all knowledge gained to stakeholders and the general public. 

The PhD student’s research will mainly focus on computational modelling. Hydrological modelling will be used to predict the carbon and nutrient dynamics of peatlands. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in conjunction with other modelling methods will be used to predict the hydraulic properties of peat, such as the impact of rewetting on peat structure and its influence on drainage processes and water quality at field scale. In addition to computational modelling, the PhD student will also complete field research and experimental research in the laboratory. 


Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Hydrology, Geography, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Civil/Environmental or Mechanical Engineering, etc.). Candidates with a background in hydrological modelling or CFD modelling are desirable. Evidence (scanned document) of a full driving licence is required. Applications without this will not be considered. 


The student will work under the supervision of Dr. Mingming Tong and Prof. Mark Healy. The Fellowship will start as soon as possible after the most suitable candidate is selected. 

The fellowship has a duration of 4 years and will provide a stipend of €23,526 from which University fees are paid by the student. 

To apply, email:

Prof. Mark Healy, Civil Engineering, NUI Galway. 

Phone +353 (0)91 495364. email: [Email Address Removed]  

Closing date

May 27, 2022.

Funding Notes

PhD is funded by the Irish EPA. We welcome applications from all candidates worldwide.
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