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EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems

Join the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CDT-SIS) for a 4-year Integrated PhD (iPhD).

Join the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CDT-SIS) for a 4-year Integrated PhD (iPhD).

Fully Funded PhD positions for 2017 entry available now.

The world leading Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (CDT-SIS) at the University of Southampton aims to produce the next generation of engineers and scientists with the interdisciplinary skills needed to develop the UK's infrastructure that is essential for economic growth, security, societal wellbeing and environmental sustainability. The CDT is jointly funded by EPSRC, the University of Southampton and partners from industry, and focuses on 3 key sectors:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Transport
  • Infrastructure

Particular attention is directed at the interactions between the sectors and the concepts of sustainability and resilience. The Centre forms part of a programme of initiatives to further develop the University of Southampton’s outstanding research expertise and experimental facilities in engineering and the environment, linked to the construction of a new National Infrastructure Laboratory at the University’s Boldrewood Engineering Campus.

Around 10 fully funded studentships are available for 2017/18. You will join a dynamic cohort of high calibre students representing the 3 key sectors identified, and work as part of a team with world leading academics and industrial partners.

Fully Funded PhD positions for 2016 entry available now

Structure of the degree programme:

The programme is based on a 1+3 year integrated model with the first year comprising a formal taught component encompassing transferable, interdisciplinary and management skills as well as technical aspects. The first year taught programme will be flexible and based on your background, experience, and needs. In the following 3 years you will conduct your research project supervised by a strong academic team in collaboration with industry. Projects cover a wide range of topics in the interdisciplinary and globally important area of Sustainable Infrastructure Systems.

International placements:

A unique selling point of the CDT-SIS is the opportunity to engage with international partners on overseas training placements. This is in recognition of the global nature of the infrastructure challenge in both developed nations (where refurbishment may be the priority) and developing nations (where the focus may be on new build). This will allow you to work closely with international collaborators to gain insight into similarities and differences in the infrastructure challenges faced in different regions, and the processes by which solutions are developed. During the international training placements you will join a network of experts in your selected field and gain access to world class facilities outside of the UK.


All projects are supported by both the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and an industrial or other sponsor. This provides for full UK fees for the 4 years and enhanced tax-free stipends (typically around £15,000 per year), along with support for project related costs. Additional funding of up to £8,000 will be available to each student as a contribution to the costs of an international placement.


You will benefit from the intellectual challenge of PhD level research as part of a cohort of high calibre dynamic students based within a community of world leading academics and industrial partners addressing exciting challenges associated with the delivery of sustainable infrastructure critical to the UK.

Other benefits include:

  • participation in an international network of infrastructure engineers and scientists through training placements.
  • working in close collaboration with industry and potential future employers
  • access to cutting-edge research facilities at the University of Southampton (the new National Infrastructure Laboratory and Boldrewood Engineering campus) and overseas.
  • linkage with world-class research groups within the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at a UK leading Engineering University.
  • developing advanced interdisciplinary transferable and technical skills that enhance long-term employability, including access to management modules that could count towards an MBA after your integrated PhD (iPhD) is successfully completed.
  • contributing to public engagement and the promotion of engineering at the University of Southampton at local, national and international events.
Fully Funded PhD positions for 2016 entry available now


Applicants for the iPhD in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems must have, or expect to gain, a good first degree in engineering, or appropriate science discipline. The scheme offers full funding to UK nationals. If you wish to apply for the iPhD, please indicate this on your application form and ensure a personal statement, full degree transcripts and two references are included on applying.

Enquiries from potential students and industrial sponsors are always welcomed.

Relevant subject areas:

  • Acoustics
  • Civil & Structural Engineering
  • Energy
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Town & Country Planning
  • Economics
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Ecology & Conservation
  • Environmental Science

To view available projects please click on the links below:

Water Projects

CDT-SIS-129: Design and testing of innovative fish-friendly river flow gauging structuresDetails
CDT-SIS-136: Flood risk assessment under a changing climateDetails
CDT-SIS-160: The influence of hydrodynamics on the collective behaviour of fish: an ecohydraulics approach to mitigating environmental impacts of water and energy infrastructureDetails

Transportation Projects

CDT-SIS-115: Real Options Analysis to Manage Financial and Environmental Risks in Major Transport Infrastructure Projects (Oxera)Details
CDT-SIS-132: Mechanical properties of re-used ballastDetails
CDT-SIS-133: A Whole Life Carbon Model for Railway Track System InterventionsDetails
CDT-SIS-135: Noise and vibration mitigation at Switches & CrossingsDetails
CDT-SIS-145: Ground support and modelling through railway switches & crossings and transitionsDetails
CDT-SIS-155: Effects of multiscale roughness on turbulent flowsDetails
CDT-SIS-156: Effects of turbulent flow conditions on performance of wind and tidal turbinesDetails
CDT-SIS-158: The friction and wear behaviour of automotive ring-liner materials subject to transient start-stop operationDetails
CMEES-INF-119: Fibre reinforcement for railway ballastDetails

Energy Projects

CDT-SIS-161: Microstructure and property of multiple metallic materials manufactured by novel 3D printing technique.Details
CDT-SIS-162: Development of an Advanced High Temperature Xenon Resistojet Thruster for Telecommunication Spacecraft PropulsionDetails
CDT-SIS-164: Dispersion in turbulent boundary layersDetails
Surface texturing of lightweight alloys for low friction automotive applicationsDetails

Infrastructure Projects

CDT-SIS-151: Leak noise characterisation for buried, fluid-filled pipesDetails
CDT-SIS-152: Pipe wave modelling for Acoustic Leak DetectionDetails
CDT-SIS-153: Combining Transient and Steady State Methods for Acoustic Leak DetectionDetails
CDT-SIS-154: Hydrant Dynamics for Acoustic Leak DetectionDetails

For more details, and how to apply visit the Engineering & the Environment web pages

Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Infrastructure Systems, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ

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