Research Fellow in Desalination and Water Treatment

University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.




The British Council has awarded The University of Birmingham a Newton Institutional Links Grant to develop new technologies for the treatment and protection of groundwater, in collaboration with the National Research Centre, Egypt. The Research Fellow will be required to develop novel membrane desalination systems, capable of treating groundwater containing a range of natural and anthropogenic pollutants. The aim is to develop treatment methods that maximise recovery of freshwater and minimise energy usage, resist fouling, and that provide effective management of the residual brine. The Research Fellow will work in a team including experts in fluid mechanics, photocatalysis, water quality, and environmental management.


Summary of Role

  • Plan and conduct research in water treatment especially membrane desalination
  • Design systems to satisfy input and output water quality specifications
  • Carry out experiments in the lab and in the field
  • Collaborate in an interdisciplinary and international team
  • Contribute to broader areas of project management, writing of research bids, and supervision of students in related-research activities


Main Duties

Responsibilities will include:

  • Commission and review water quality analysis for the purpose of treatment system design, for domestic or agricultural applications
  • Design membrane desalination systems using Reverse Osmosis (RO)
  • Select and design other treatment methods for pre-treatment, post-treatment and brine management (e.g. media filters, anti-scalant dosing, ion exchange, nanofiltration, photocatalysis, crystallisation etc)
  • Contribute to the development of the novel batch RO process developed at University of Birmingham
  • Carry out design calculations and select/use relevant software relating to above
  • Set up lab-scale units for testing and verification using synthetic feed water
  • Contribute to design and monitoring of systems in the field
  • Test systems, interpret the results and compare to design calculations, recommending and implementing improvements accordingly
  • Liaise with international partners collaborating in the project
  • Undertake management and administration duties arising from the research
  • Contribute to writing bids for further research funding
  • Assist in supervision of students on related research work, and help provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, preparing conference presentations and posters
  • Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of the benefit to the School and University
  • Travel from time to time as required by the research programme


Person Specification


  • First degree in engineering or applied science discipline
  • Doctorate in relevant research area (or equivalent experience)
  • Ability in analysis and modelling of process technologies and/or systems
  • Ability to design, modify and operate experimental equipment and to make and interpret observations reliably
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of, and ability to contribute to, broader management/administration processes
  • Contribute to the planning and organisation of the research project
  • Co-ordinate own work with others to work effectively towards overall project objectives and meet agreed deadlines
  • Ability to identify and learn new techniques, through self-study, training and/or continuing professional development.


  • Masters level qualification and/or industrial experience in water science/water technology or related topic
  • Experience of research in membrane desalination systems
  • Experience in design of pre-treatment and anti-scalant dosing for membrane RO

Informal enquires to Philip Davies -

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