Water Infrastructure and Resilience (WIRe) CDT PhD studentship: Resilience to climate change and its impact on dissolved manganese concentration in water reservoirs

Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 🇬🇧

Award Summary

100% tuition fees paid, plus £19,000 annual stipend and a Research Training Support Grant


A long dry period over the spring and summer of 2021 resulted in historically low reservoir levels across Scotland and the release of unusually high concentrations of dissolved manganese. This caused significant discolouration events at customers taps and numerous failures for total manganese across Scotland. Due to climate change, future episodes of similarly unusual weather will become more frequent, threatening drinking water quality across Scotland and indeed across the entire UK. Hence, it is imperative to increase the resilience of water reservoirs to such climate change-induced variations by devising and implementing effective reservoir management strategies.

However, the reasons why manganese is mobilised from reservoirs, especially at low water levels, is poorly understood. We are also lacking critical understanding which reservoir management methods can be used and how when reservoir levels are low, without causing detrimental side effects. To address these knowledge gaps, this project will (1) identify the source(s) of manganese in the reservoirs, (2) determine the mobilisation mechanisms within the reservoirs, and (3) use this improved understanding of manganese cycling to establish effective and feasible reservoir management strategies to control manganese release. The project will combine extensive field work with laboratory experiments and employ a range of state-of-the-art analytical techniques for the characterisation of aqueous and solid samples in general, and manganese speciation and microbial community specifically.

Number Of Awards: 1

Start Date: September 2022

Award Duration: 4 years

Application Closing Date: 16 May 2022

Sponsor: Scottish Water & EPSRC

Supervisors: Dr Anke Neumann (Newcastle University) and Graeme Moore (Scottish Water).

Eligibility Criteria

First or 2:1 degree: preferably a First MEng/MSc in a relevant subject.

Experience in laboratory and/or field work are essential. You should be motivated to conduct extensive field sampling and laboratory work, including aqueous and solid phase analyses (ICP-OES, ICP-MS, UV-vis spectrophotometry, XRD) alongside application of molecular biology tools (DNA sequencing). Experience in any of these techniques is advantageous.

The project is a collaboration between academic and industrial partners, requiring excellent communication and time management skills, and proficiency in the English language.

Under the 30% UKRI international recruitment policy, Newcastle will pay the international fee difference for International applicants (including EU) awarded a WIRe CDT studentship at Newcastle (limited to 1 per academic year). Further information will be provided at application stage. 

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

  • Insert the programme code 8209F in the programme of study section
  • Select ‘PhD Water Infrastructure & Resilience (WIRe)‘ as the programme of study
  • Insert the studentship code WIRE217 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • Attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code WIRE217 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

You should also send your covering letter and CV to [email protected]

Contact Details

[email protected]