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Electrochemical and paper-microfluidics detection for monitoring water disinfection


Key facts

Type of research degree
4 year PhD
Application deadline
Tuesday 2 May 2023
Project start date
Sunday 1 October 2023
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Centre for doctoral training
Professor Barbara Evans
Additional supervisors
Dr Zhugen Yang (Cranfield)
School of Civil Engineering
Research groups/institutes
Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The exciting PhD opportunity was funded by EPSRC CDT WISER and industry partners (expertise in biosensors manufacturing and disinfection for water treatment). We are offering a fully funded national PhD studentship covering tuition fees, competitive stipend, research and consumables, and travel for international conference. The candidate will be working with a highly interdisciplinary and international team to develop the advanced sensors technology (e.g., electrochemical and paper microfluidics) for rapid monitoring of chemicals and microbiological contaminants and disinfection process during water treatment process. The candidate is welcome to apply with a background or an interest but not limited to biosensors, microfluidics, analytical chemistry, environment science, molecular biology, microbiology and engineering science.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>Water contamination with microbial organisms in water systems, including drinking, ground, recreational, and wildlife, is a global issue. The projects will address the global challenges of water quality and contribute to access the safe and clean water which is one the sustainable development goal from world health organisation (WHO), using multidisciplinary including microfluidics, biosensing, chemistry, environmental, and analytical science to nanotechnology and engineering approaches,</p> <p>In this project, we aim to develop low-cost, deployable biosensor devices (e.g., paper-microfluidics devices) for rapid monitoring of water quality. We will train one PhD student, working within a highly multidisciplinary team from academic and industrial partners (Cranfield, Zimmer &amp; Peacock Ltd and Kersia Ltd) to develop, and transfer advanced sensor technology for rapid monitoring of water quality to provide new understanding on the dynamics and transportation of contaminants and inform mitigation, to help achieve and maintain sustainable health and well-being.</p> <p>Cranfield University is number one in the UK for training and producing engineering and technology postgraduates. It is one of the top five research-intensive universities in the UK and has an unrivalled reputation for transforming cutting edge technology, management and science into practical, life-enhancing solutions. This research project will be conducted within the Water Science Institute, School of Water, Energy and Environment.&nbsp;</p> <p>We have recently established an <a href="">Advanced Sensors Laboratory</a> funded by UKCRIC, and this dedicated laboratory is the centre of the world-class research into sensors and their uses in water and the water industry being conducted at Cranfield. With an impressive legacy in biosensors, Cranfield&rsquo;s UKCRIC sensors lab continues the University&rsquo;s work in this area by providing state-of-the-art facilities for chemical, biological and microbial sensors&rsquo; development. The advanced sensors group (led by <a href="">Dr Zhugen Yang</a>) aims to explore multiciliary approach to advance sensor technology and address global challenges in water-environment-health nexus, e.g., our recent work on origami-paper sensors has been featured in Science and London Science Museum.</p> <p>The outputs of the project will deliver new sensors to quantify the chemical active ingredients of water disinfection (e.g., chlorination units) to monitor long term disinfection, which is expected to demonstrate for the field testing, within the support from industry partner. This will provide a new understanding of the disinfection process and monitoring mechanism, which has a potential for translation as a routine measurement for industry in water sectors. &nbsp;</p> <p>The student will be widely engaging with a multidisciplinary team to learn advanced sensor technology and interact with stakeholders (including UKRI, academics and industry) to disseminate the research output. The funding supports travel throughout the project to meet with the collaborators, along with opportunities to attend and present results at international conferences (e.g., Biosensors Congress). Cranfield University are leading a UK water and wastewater network, as well as involved water sensors network, involving academic, industrial and public sector organisations; It is expected that the PhD researcher will become involved in this network, enabling the researcher to develop their profile in the sector and engage with experts in related areas.</p> <p>This PhD opportunity provides the researcher with exposure to working in a large multi-disciplinary project as part of a wider team. The area of research is a rapidly growing area of national importance, and the candidate will have opportunity to engage with both world-class academic and industry; therefore, it is anticipated that this PhD would allow the successful candidate to pursue an exciting career upon completion. The PhD research may also can travel to the collaborator for secondment. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="">EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Water WISER</a></strong><br /> &nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>EPSRC CDT Water and Waste Infrastructure Systems</strong></em> and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Electrochemical and paper-microfluidics detection for monitoring water disinfection</strong></em> as well as <a href="">Professor Barbara Evans</a>&nbsp;(Centre Director) and <a href="">Dr Zhugen Yang</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered after the closing date. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 2 May 2023:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> <li>Funding information:&nbsp; EPSRC CDT Water WISER</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics studentship in partnership with Cranfield University, Zimmer &amp; Peacock Ltd and Kersia Ltd, consisting of the award of fees with a maintenance grant (currently &pound;17,668&nbsp;for academic session 2022/23)&nbsp;for 4&nbsp;years.<br /> <br /> This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about this project, please contact James McKay (Centre Manager)<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>