EPSRC PhD Studentship in: Monitoring and Evaluation of Vegetated Stormwater Infrastructure

University of Sheffield

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

This fully funded project provides an excellent opportunity to conduct research on operational Sustainable Drainage systems.  Flood risk is a significant threat to many residents of urban areas.  Vegetated stormwater infrastructure (Sustainable Drainage Systems or SuDS) can provide stormwater management that is resilient to future climate and land use changes.  However, quantitative evidence confirming the hydraulic performance of SuDS in practice is limited.  Such evidence is urgently needed to inform Government policy making and water industry investment, and to support the development and validation of modelling tools used to plan and design drainage infrastructure.  Severn Trent Water’s ambitious programme for town wide SuDS retrofitting in Mansfield provides a unique opportunity to collect key evidence on how these systems perform in practice.  The project will primarily utilise field data (in-sewer/SuDS flow and void space level data) that is already planned to be collected by Severn Trent Water.  In addition, we will intensively instrument at least one individual device (e.g., a bioretention cell, or ‘rain garden’) to permit detailed data collection and scrutiny of the modelling tools, with the goal to recommend improvements to SuDS modelling and design.  In addition to natural rainfall events, we will engineer artificial rainfall/inflow inputs into this device to provide test-case data corresponding to extreme design rainfall events.

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.  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.  CDT WIRe is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community, and offers 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. Virginia Stovin & Dr Simon De-Ville in collaboration with partners from Severn Trent Water.  The normal place of work is expected to be at the University of Sheffield, with close regular interaction with Severn Trent Water and delivery partners of the Mansfield SuDS retrofit programme.  Travel and subsistence costs will be provided.

Eligibility Criteria

This studentship is supported by EPSRC WIRe CDT and the University of Sheffield. It is open to all students with UK residency.

The selection criteria for the position are:

  • A good honours degree (or equivalent experience) in Engineering, Physical Science, Geography, Environmental Sciences or a related subject.
  • Enthusiasm for independent research and problem-solving.
  • Experience of data/time series analysis and/or hydrological/drainage modelling.
  • Good written and oral communication skills, 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 ([email protected] ).

For information and informal enquiries please contact: [email protected]

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