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Transforming pipedreams into pipe-bots: intelligent self-powered sensors for wastewater systems and river protection


   Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

   Sunday, February 19, 2023  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project details

The 2050 wastewater destination for the UK water industry is an environmentally sustainable service that works as one end-to-end system, from customer drain to the river, collecting and treating wastewater within the system with zero spills to the environment.

A critical step in achieving this goal is to develop intelligent wastewater systems that self-monitor, self-assess and self-regulate, to optimise storage in the wastewater network, wastewater treatment performance and river protection. This will require unprecedented levels of monitoring, using new wireless sensing systems, often in inaccessible locations (including thousands of sensors), which will benefit from being able to self-power to minimise maintenance, energy costs and carbon footprint.

This project aims to design an intelligent, self-powered sensing solution that will enable the implementation of the Internet of Things within wastewater network, including rivers. The key outcome is the ability of the solution to provide continuous, robust monitoring of the water quality. A critical aspect of the self-powered sensing solution will be its potential to be deployed, forming a network of sensors for data collection and transmission to establish a detailed picture of the water quality and distribution within the wastewater network.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the drop-down below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or a related subject. A relevant master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: energy harvesting, nonlinear dynamics analysis, low-power sensing electronics and electromechanical system development.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK and International Fee - Fully funded full-time degree per annum

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

The studentship is funded for 3.5 years starting from October 2023 and provides a tax-free stipend of £17,668 per annum (in 2022/23) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate (£4,596 in 2022/23) and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £8,000. Further guidance about eligibility is available on the UKRI website.

International students (including EU) are eligible to apply and there will be a fee waiver in place covering the difference between home and international fees for successful candidates. Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects within the School. Funding decisions will not be confirmed until late February 2023.

How to apply

  • Complete a CENTA studentship application form in Word document format (available from http://www.centa.ac.uk/apply/).
  • All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select “Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering’”. Please quote reference CENTA23-LU3 when completing your online application.
  • During the online application process, upload the CENTA studentship application form as a supporting document.
  • Interviews for short-listed candidates are expected to be held in the period 6-17 February 2023. 

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