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Sustainability Assessment of Future Food Systems

Project Description

Industrial Biotechnology has the potential to revolutionise the way in which we obtain dietary protein - from microbial proteins to artificial meat. This could significantly improve agricultural sustainability; however, there has been little work to date carried out to quantify this, particularly the implications it has for the wider agricultural sector. Understanding the environmental implications of new technologies, such as those derived through industrial biotechnology, is crucial to ensuring our transition to a low-carbon economy.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to evaluate the system-wide sustainability of novel protein production pathways. Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and other environmental analysis techniques the candidate will:

• Evaluate the availability of potential biomass feedstocks for this technology using materials flow analysis (MFA) and value chain mapping
• Develop a process model(s) for protein production from biomass processing
• Use LCA to determine the potential environmental impacts associated across the value chain
• Integrate risk assessment (RA) and regulatory considerations, and evaluate how this could be combined with LCA to influence decision-making

This research sits within the Centre for Integrated Bioprocessing Research (CIBR) at Bath. The CIBR is a multi-disciplinary research group focusing on accelerating industrial biotechnology research towards commercialisation. This covers the whole value chain from feedstock to pretreatment, bio-based manufacturing and formulation into chemicals, materials and products for the food industry.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent) in Chemical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering/Chemistry/Biochemistry or similar disciplines. Knowledge of life cycle assessment or environmental modelling techniques would be an advantage.

English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Sophie Parsons ()

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of March and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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