PhD studentship in Environmental Engineering: City-scale strategies for urban drainage to regulate quantity and quality of flow via FindAPhD

Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 🇬🇧

About the Project


Urban drainage systems have never been under so much pressure, with intense rainfall events, urbanisation and populations all increasing. The impacts on surface runoff and overloading of combined sewer systems are resulting in nationwide issues of poor water quality and flooding in key urban environments. Cities require new urban drainage strategies that: incorporate the best available data and information about storm runoff and pollution pathways, understands and takes into consideration current urban form, planning and regulations, and are developed with all relevant stakeholders within boundaries of management and regulation.

While conventional (grey) infrastructure still has a significant role to play in urban drainage and pollution management, Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) can provide flexible and more affordable means of reducing water entering drainage systems and slowing flow responses and providing attenuation and treatment of pollution sources before they enter watercourses. Evidence is needed to understand how, where and when BGI aids flood risk and pollution mitigation over time and space in combination with existing infrastructure. 

This WIRe CDT PhD will develop a strategy framework for urban drainage and also improved understanding of BGI performance; assess long-term performance and costs of BGI, including management and maintenance; and aid design of future BGI strategies to mitigate climate-induced flood risk in urban areas.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

25 September 2023

Award Duration

4 years


EPSRC Northumbrian Water Limited


Name of supervisor/s Dr Claire WalshDr Vassilis Glenis and Prof David Werner (Newcastle University) Chris Jones (Northumbrian Water Limited)

Eligibility Criteria

A First Meng/MSc in a relevant subject or First or upper second class UG degree (2:1). Enthusiasm for research, the ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential requirements.

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 PhD student per academic year).

Further information will be provided at application stage. Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme

How To Apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.  

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

  • search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code:8209F 
  • Select ‘PhD Water Infrastructure & Resilience (WIRe)’ as the programme of study 

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Questions’ section:  

  • a ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) – upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form  
  • the studentship code WIRE2302 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  
  • when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal – select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.  

Contact Details

Funding Notes

Fully funded Studentship with a tax-free annual living allowance of £21,000, a research training support grant + UKRI fees paid.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development