PhD studentship in Environmental Engineering: Building water treatment infrastructure resilience to climate change-induced changes in freshwater sulphate concentrations via FindAPhD

Newcastle University

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK 🇬🇧

About the Project


This WIRe CDT PhD project aims to build water treatment infrastructure resilience to climate change-induced changes in freshwater sulphate concentrations. Freshwater sulphate concentrations have increased in recent decades. The potential problems are particularly evident in former mining catchments, including in north-east England. 

The project will involve (1) reviewing regional / national trends in freshwater sulphate concentration to identify water infrastructure at potential risk, now and in the future, (2) quantifying current (point and diffuse) sources of sulphate in legacy coal mine catchments, (3) projecting future riverine sulphate concentration and flux using NU’s SHETRAN modelling software, (3) trialling innovative, catchment-based management approaches to sulphate source control, and water treatment plant-based technologies for sulphate attenuation. 

The project will involve close working with Northumbrian Water, as well as the Newcastle University academic supervisors. Research will be conducted at national, regional and local scales. Fieldwork (water quality and hydrology) will focus on the River Wear, NE England, with associated analysis work in the University’s well-equipped labs.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

25 September 2023

Award Duration

4 years


EPSRC & Northumbrian Water Limited


Prof Adam Jarvis and Dr Elizabeth Lewis (Newcastle University) Stewart Waugh and Claire Gowdy (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 WIRE2301 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