EPSRC PhD Studentship in: Managing Strategic Infrastructure To Ensure Safe Drinking Water

The University of Sheffield

Sheffield, UK 🇬🇧


The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Water Centre in collaboration with South Staffordshire Water and the Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience.

EPSRC PhD Studentship in: Managing Strategic Infrastructure To Ensure Safe Drinking Water

Stipend: This post will fully cover university tuition and provide a tax-free stipend for UK students of £21,000 per year.

Closing Date for Applications: 27th March 2023

Start Date: 25th September 2023 (contract duration 4 years)

This fully funded project provides an unrivalled opportunity to conduct research into the operation and management of strategic infrastructure to ensure the supply of safe drinking water. The research will be conducted on operational system supplying water to over 1.88M people. It will involve development and implementation of novel monitoring and performance assessment methods, design and application of operational maintenance approaches and evaluation of the impacts of large capital investment through analysis of data collected. Ultimately the research will help to inform the trade-off between ongoing operational activities and large capital intensive investment to best ensure safe clean drinking water.

Drinking water is treated to a high standard at water treatment works and we must ensure its continued high standard as it is transported through distribution networks to consumers. There is an urgent need to understand treatment to tap interactions such that we can best manage drinking water supply. We need to understand and assess the long term performance effects and hence trade-off between interventions at either the water treatment works (improved water treatment, one off capital investment) and the distribution network (such as pipe cleaning, ongoing operational management). This research will provide long term evidence from operational systems providing vital understanding to help ensure resilience to future demands such as population shifts and climate change and continued provision of the highest quality drinking water.

The research programme to be completed in this project will be undertaken as part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water Infrastructure and Resilience (CDT WIRe). CDT WIRe is a collaboration between the three leading UK Universities in water resilient infrastructure. You would be part of an active and friendly community. Students will benefit from a bespoke training scheme delivered by world leading experts from academia and industry, access to world leading experimental and computational facilities as well as close and regular contact with industry and end user partners. Resources are available for international collaboration and conference attendance. CDT WIRe is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community, and offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies. For further information on the CDT WIRe scheme visit the web site at: https://cdtwire.com/

The project will be supervised by Prof Joby Boxall and Dr Stewart Husband at the University of Sheffield in collaboration with partners from with South Staffordshire Water. The normal place of work is expected to be at the University of Sheffield, with close regular interaction with South Staffordshire Water and extended periods at study sites, with travel and subsistence costs provided for these periods.

Eligibility Criteria

This studentship is supported by EPSRC WIRe CDT and the University of Sheffield.

Eligibly criteria are based on residence; further information can be found at:


International applications to this CDT are subject to a quota; hence overseas applicants may not receive feedback until sufficient applications have been processed.

The selection criteria for the position are:

• Enthusiasm for research and the topic area

• A good honours degree (or equivalent experience) in Engineering, Physical Science, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Physical Geography or a related subject.

• Good level of written and oral communication skills, as appropriate for disseminating research and communicating with project partners.

• Willingness to collaborate with other researchers, industry and end-users.

How to apply

Interested candidates should email a covering letter and their Curriculum

Vitae to Lindsay Hopcroft (l.hopcroft@sheffield.ac.uk).

For information and informal enquiries please contact: Prof Joby Boxall (j.b.boxall@sheffield.ac.uk)

Funding Notes

This post will fully cover university tuition fees and provide a tax-free stipend for UK students of £21,000 per year.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development