Rural treatment works represent 75% of all sewage treatment plants in the UK owned and operated by water utilities. This PhD project provides an opportunity for an enthusiastic graduate to develop and implement an innovative rural treatment flowsheet, in close partnership with Scottish Water. Read more Read less

Sewage treatment in small rural communities has traditionally involved the use of septic tanks. This project will focus on developing the design criteria for an innovative flowsheet consisting of an enclosed anaerobic pond followed by an aerobic constructed wetland to deliver an effluent that meets tight discharge standards. The project has a strong engineering science component whilst delivering an output that is ready for implementation by Scottish Water.

The overall aim of the project is to deliver a robust design approach for the novel flowsheet by resolving areas of uncertainty and risk. Specific objectives that will be met to achieve this include:

  • Establishing the specific hydrolysis rate under low temperatures and assessing options to enhance it.
  • Establishment of the size and settling rate of particles within the pond and trial methods to increase the removal rate.
  • Establishment the benefit and impact of adding bio-waste to the pond.
  • Trial and determine the most appropriate configuration of wetland to meet different discharge consents and manage surface water flows.
  • Revise and adapt the initially proposed design standard
The outputs of this work will be used by Scottish Water through the building of a demonstration scheme as part of its future strategies. As such, the project provides an excellent opportunity to be involved in research, development and implementation of an innovative flowsheet to meet some of the challenges faced by the UK Water Industry. The candidate will be a member of the Cranfield Doctoral Network and will receive excellent support in terms of training and mentoring.

At a glance

  • Application deadline09 Mar 2018
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date02 Apr 2018
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityEU, UK, Rest of World
  • Reference numberSWEE0034


Prof Bruce Jefferson, Professor of Water Science
Dr Gabriela Dotro, Senior Research Fellow in Environmental Engineering

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related subject such as engineering, biology, environmental science or chemistry. A strong understanding of wastewater treatment processes is desirable.


Supported by Scottish Water and an Industrial Partnership grant, this studentship will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £18,000 p.a* for three years.

* Funding to cover tuition fees and a monthly stipend is available for UK and European applications, but Worldwide applicants who possess suitable self-funding are also invited to apply.

How to apply

For further information please contact: Dr Gabriela Dotro, E:

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

When applying or enquiring about this research position please quote the research title.

For further information contact us today:
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