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  Regenerative low carbon concrete production through the use of mine tailings

   School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

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  Dr Ceren Ince  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The carbon and energy intensive operation of binder production in construction practice is a well-recognised alarming concern as it is adversely influencing the global warming and the associated climate change patterns. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies on the construction and demolition waste, industrial waste, and all other kinds of solid waste utilisation in binder production in construction, the necessity of mine tailing utilisation in construction materials has not gained sufficient awareness until now. The current study will be focusing on the integration of mine tailings in lime and cement based binders not only due to the growing potential of such tailings for enhanced properties and durability but also for the regenerative recycling of mine tailings compared to the other conventional waste management methods. The PhD project will have the following three major phases: (a) First of all, the utilisation of mine tailings on the long-term mechanical properties and durability characteristics of construction materials will be investigated through a comprehensive characterisation analysis. (b) The study will then conduct a life cycle analysis to evaluate the performance of these innovative construction materials with respect to the cost efficiency, eco-strength efficiency as well as the carbon foot print, ozone depletion, eco- and human toxicity. (c) Conventional waste management alternatives will then be compared with the proposed recycling route adopted in the study. It should be emphasised that the study impacts the development of innovative construction materials with reduced demand on cement production that reinforces the zero net thinking in accordance with circular economy of civil engineering materials. The study on the other hand, also enlightens the greener recycling routes for mine tailings and therefore also plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem of the immediate environment as well as sustaining the economic growth of the localities.


This project is open to all students, whether home, EU or overseas.

The successful candidate will have at least an upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate honours degree in the relevant subject area and ideally a Masters Degree. We may also consider candidates who can demonstrate appropriate alternative learning such as experience gained in the workplace or professional qualifications.

We recognise that not every talented researcher will have had the same opportunities to advance their careers. We therefore will account for any particular circumstances that applicants disclose (e.g. parental leave, caring duties, part-time jobs to support studies, disabilities etc.) to ensure an inclusive and fair recruitment process.  

How to Apply

To apply you must complete our online application form.

Please select PhD Civil Engineering as the programme and include the full project title, reference number and supervisor name on your application form. Ensure that all fields marked as ‘required’ are complete.

Once have entered your personal details, click submit. You will be asked to upload your supporting documents. You must complete the section marked project proposal; provide a supporting statement (1-2 A4 pages) documenting your reasons for applying to this particular project, outlining your suitability and how you would approach the project. You must also upload your CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and an academic reference in the relevant section of the application form.

You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0, or a TOEFL certificate with an overall score of at least 85, including reading 20, listening 19, speaking 20 and writing 21. Alternatively, if you have received an English-taught Bachelors or Masters degree from one of the countries listed on the UK Government Guidance under ‘Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English’, and it was obtained less than two years from your intended start date, you should provide evidence of your award that clearly states it was delivered and assessed in English language.

The primary supervisor for this project is Ceren Ince. Please contact [Email Address Removed] for further information or an informal discussion.

Please contact [Email Address Removed] for technical support with your application.


The closing date for applications is 22 March 2024 and applicants must be available to start in September 2024.

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Engineering (12) Environmental Sciences (13)

Funding Notes

James Watt Scholarship
This is a full scholarship which will cover tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and provide an annual stipend (£19,237 in 2024-25) for 42 months. Thereafter, candidates will be expected to pay a continuing affiliation fee (currently £130) whilst they complete writing up their thesis.
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