E.U./U.K. nationals: PhD: Developing internal benchmarking methodologies and their application to improving the cost, quality and environmental performance of water and wastewater systems via FindAPhD

Loughborough University

Loughborough, , GB

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: SBE-DSMN20
Start date of studentship: 01 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 8 June 2020
Interview date: tbc

Primary supervisor: Prof. Dr David S Saal
Secondary supervisor: Dr Maria Nieswand

Applications are invited for a PhD project on internal benchmarking of water and wastewater service provision, to be co-supervised by academics and experts from Loughborough University’s Centre of Productivity and Performance and Anglian Water Services Ltd. You will work closely with Anglian Water to develop conceptually robust cost benchmarking models to address environmental, demographic and regulatory challenges and identify internal best practice. If successful, the intention is for the findings of the project to be used by managers and engineers to assess costs and inform operational and strategic decision-making, giving you an opportunity to make real-world impact.

We are looking for a quantitatively minded doctoral student who is enthusiastic about conducting research at the interface between academia and industry. Backgrounds in operations research, economics, water and wastewater engineering and/or management, general engineering, hydrology, data analysis, and decision science (or related) are required.

Full Project Detail

This PhD project is motivated by the evolving environmental, demographic and regulatory challenges imposed on water and wastewater businesses. To operate sustainably, companies strive to identify best practices, which address these challenges and improve their performance.

This PhD will use both empirical and theoretical methods to develop robust approaches of modelling water and wastewater operations at the nexus of economics, engineering and management. You will address important questions, which inform operational and engineering decision-making, for example:
• How to improve the cost efficiency of existing water and wastewater systems?
• How do geography, demography and technology in different operating regions influence the costs of providing water and wastewater services?
• How can the costs associated with delivering a particular level of service or environmental quality be incorporated into the cost benchmarks?

The project’s joint supervision enables the doctoral candidate to conduct research under the supervision of academics at Loughborough University and industry experts at Anglian Water. Further access to academic, business and scientific expertise and support from the respective professional networks is provided to the doctoral candidate throughout the entire project.

This PhD addresses a highly relevant and interesting topic both inside and outside academia. A successful project will impact the lives of millions of customers and will also improve business and environmental performance by informing the operational and strategic decisions of Anglian Water and possibly the entire water and wastewater sector. It will also have excellent potential for publication and launching a research career.

While the doctoral student will be primarily placed at Loughborough University, the project budget includes substantial support for site visits and extended periods of placements at Anglian Water’s facilities.

Find out more:

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
Find out more: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/supporting-you/research/

Entry requirements

A UK Master’s degree or the international equivalent, ideally in operations research, economics, water and wastewater engineering and/or management, general engineering, hydrology, data analysis, and decision sciences, or a related subject (with average programme mark of no less than 65% or the International equivalent); interest in water and wastewater system modelling; excellent communication skills; flexibility and willingness to travel. English Language requirement of IELTS band 7.0 or above with not less than 7.0 in each component.

Contact details

Name: Professor David Saal
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 227 123

How to apply

Applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select Business School.

Please quote reference number: SBE-DSMN20

Funding Notes

Starting in October 2020, the studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for this full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the UK residency requirement. See View Website





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