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As a result of climate change and urbanization, more frequent flooding, diffuse pollution, and unsatisfactory combined sewer overflows are impacting on the quality of life and wellbeing of urban dwellers, and on the ecological status of urban water systems. Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) have been developed to manage stormwater at source and restore pre-development hydrology, control diffuse pollution and, if vegetated, promote ecosystem services and reduce urban heat islands. Existing knowledge about SuDS performance is not exhaustive, especially regarding the influence of their design and configuration (plants, media, drainage) on hydrological processes, contaminant removal mechanisms, and on long term performance. This PhD project aims specifically at investigating biofiltration systems since these have been identified as a promising technology for retrofit in dense urban areas due to their flexibility in design and comparatively small footprint. Hydrological and bio-chemical processes occurring within biofiltration systems will be investigated through laboratory and field studies aimed at optimizing their performance. Numerical modelling of biofiltration systems will be evaluated as well as development of methodologies to allow for their inclusion in catchment-scale models for planning and decision making purposes.
Your studentship will be part of the Water Connected City programme of water@leeds, one of the largest interdisciplinary centres for water related training and research in the world. You will be based in the School of Civil Engineering, with access to world class laboratory and wider campus facilities, and will spend significant periods of time shaping and transferring knowledge and conducting fieldwork with our partners Arup. You will also form part of a large and vibrant postgraduate research community, extending right across the University of Leeds.
Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), or equivalent, in an Engineering or Science discipline with a strong environmental or water focus.
Value: The studentship, which is open to UK/EU students in the first instance, will pay the full tuition fees at £3,975, as well as providing an annual maintenance of £13,863.