An evaluation of the wastewater treatment performance and hydraulic characteristics of submerged aerated filters.

  • Application end date: Friday 1st September (midnight)
  • Funding Availability: Funded PhD project (European/UK students only)
  • Department: School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
  • PhD Supervisor: Prof John Williams, Dr Steve Mitchell, Dr Fay Couceiro

This exciting 3-year project offers an opportunity to gain research and industrial experience in a practical project with supervisors from the University and WPL, a wastewater treatment company based close to Portsmouth.

The studentship will study the performance and treatment mechanisms of pilot submerged aerated filters for wastewater treatment.  The project will be based at the University’s Environmental Technology Field Station at Petersfield Wastewater Treatment Works.  This facility has laboratories and test beds where technologies can be evaluated using real sewage.  The project will involve operating a pilot plant and undertaking wastewater quality monitoring.  The student will also undertake Computer Fluid Dynamic modelling of the hydraulic properties of submerged aerated filters to develop an understanding of the treatment mechanisms and inform the design of future plants.  The outcomes will therefore inform future industrial practice and provide ideal training for a career in the water sector.

The successful applicant will join a growing and dynamic research community. You will benefit from our academic expertise and be supported through a strong programme of research training. 

The closing date for applicants is midnight Friday 1st September 2017.  We envisage that interviews will take place on Thursday 12th September 2017. The successful applicant will be expected to start on 1st October 2017.

How to apply

To apply or make an enquiry, please visit postgraduate research: Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying

Please use the online application form for Architecture, Civil Engineering and Surveying subject area and state the studentship title in the personal statement section. You will be asked to prepare a short proposal detailing how you would address the project which will form the basis of a 10 minute presentation at the interview to be held at the Environmental Technology Field Station.

Applicants must have a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1), or equivalent, in engineering or technical environmental science discipline.  Experience of numerical modelling, preferably in a hydraulic context, is required and wastewater treatment knowledge is desirable. A Master’s degree in a relevant subject is also desirable. If English is not the applicant’s first language, they must provide evidence that they meet the University’s minimum English language requirements for postgraduate study.  As travel between sites is required, a full driving licence is desirable.

The School of Civil Engineering is committed to equality of opportunity and holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, we therefore welcome applications from groups of people under represented in science and engineering research.

Informal enquiries contact details:

For administrative enquiries, please contact Christina Hampson (, telephone +44 (0) 23 9284 2604.

For academic enquiries, please contact Prof John Williams (, telephone +44 (0)23 9284 2404.

Funding Notes: 

The studentship will include tuition fees at UK/EU level for three years and a stipend of £16,553 per annum for three years, subject to satisfactory progress