This opportunity is now closed.

Funded PhD Opportunity

Feedback control sensors for water disinfection

Subjects: Engineering and Biomedical Sciences


Summary

The problem:

Water borne diseases from drinking unsafe water contribute to high incidence of illness in developing regions.  At least 1.8 billion people globally use a source of drinking water that is faecally contaminated and thus likely to lead to diarrheal illness: nearly 1,000 children die each day due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases. In 2010, the UN General Assembly explicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use.  Low cost technologies for safe drinking water have significant potential to improve the health of communities who rely on unsafe water, and thus improve their quality of life through reduced illnesses, reduced absence from employment, improved school attendance, improved family life, and less stress on females (normally responsible for water in households).

The innovative solution:

In the developed World, chlorination of water supplies has effectively irradiated waterborne disease.   There have been attempts to introduce chlorination of water supplies in developing regions, however, this intervention is not readily adopted or sustained. One of the most obvious reasons is that over dosing of chlorine (> 3 ppm, either from tablets, bleach, or bleaching powder) results in unacceptable taste and odour (many of us experience this in tap water).  Also, there are negative health implications of overdosing chlorine including the formation of disinfection by-products which may be carcinogenic. Under dosing of chlorine (<0.5 ppm) means that disinfection may not be effective.  The chlorine demand of the water means that dose based on volume is not effective for controlling the free chlorine concentration.  Therefore, the development of sensors for the determination of free chlorine and feedback control of dosing would be a major step forward in quality assurance for low cost disinfection systems in low to middle income countries (LMICs).

Interdisciplinarity of the project:

The project requires an understanding of water chemistry, the measurement of free chlorine and chlorine demand, and a need for nanomaterials research for electrochemical sensing of free chlorine.  For feedback control of dosing systems, it is necessary to integrate electronics, signal processing, actuators and mechanical components i.e. mechatronics. The testing of disinfection of water requires knowledge of water microbiology and microbiological methods.

This project integrates chemistry, microbiology and mechatronic engineering. This project is directly linked to the GCRF SAFEWATER project funded under the Global Challenges Research Fund UKRI. www.safewater-research.com.

The successful candidate will work as part of a large transdisciplinary team in the Ulster Safewater Research Centre. Eligible candidates should have a primary degree in the physical sciences or engineering.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies

Interdisciplinary Competition


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Monday 18 February 2019

Interview Date
March 2019


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Professor John Byrne


Other supervisors

Related Funded Opportunities

Computer Modelling of Phase Change in Monotectic Metal Alloys

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Role of B-vitamins in Epigenetic Modulation of Hypertension

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Engineering plasmid nanoparticles as a platform for delivery of therapeutics

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Investigation of microRNA regulation and function in prostate cancer

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Role of novel cardiac biomarkers in cellular senescence

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Oxygen-generating biomaterials for use in wound dressing strategies

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences|Computer Science and Informatics

 View details

The production of rhamnolipid biosurfactant by Pseudomonas aeruginosa growing in biofilms.

Closing date:
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Graphene family materials as novel chronic wound therapeutics

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences|Computer Science and Informatics

 View details

Naturally-occurring microbial biosynthetic pathways for propane

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Diabetes

Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Development and evaluation of a web-based interactive teaching tool for Optometrists

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences|Computer Science and Informatics

 View details

Gold Nanoparticles for Targeted Prostate Cancer Treatment

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Novel fatty acid receptors in islet cells as therapeutic targets for diabetes

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Additive Manufacturing of Functionally Graded Structures

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Interactome visualisation of ALS using virtual reality

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

The regulation of rhamnolipid biosynthesis in Burkholderia thailandensis.

Closing date:
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Engineering

Subject: Engineering

 View details

An interdisciplinary approach to tackling deep bone infections

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Blue whiting protein hydrolysates for management of sarcopenia

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Targeted exendin/apelin hybrid peptides for diabetes and obesity therapy.

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Genomic Medicine

Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Stratified Medicine

Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Novel amphibian skin peptide-analogues for the treatment of type-2 diabetes

Closing date:
Friday 18 September 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Self-powered point of care diagnostics

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Regulation of glucose metabolism by incretin signalling

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Mental Health Diagnosis using Cognitive Analytics

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences|Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

 View details

Low Temperature Plasma Treatment of Cancer: Towards In-Vivo Implementation

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering|Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Optometry and Vision Science

Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Identifying biomarkers that may affect diabetes comorbidity

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

The Growing Problem of Myopia: are spectacles part of the problem?

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

MRes in Biomedical Sciences

Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Improving the screening and diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences|Computer Science and Informatics

 View details

Multifunctional structural supercapacitors for electric transportation

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Computational approaches to investigate multimorbidity in depression

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

The role of dietary fatty acids and the gut microbiota on autoimmunity

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

A novel therapeutic targeting the inflammasome as a treatment for glaucoma.

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

New metal and metal oxides nanomaterials for solar energy harvesting

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Engineering

 View details

Nutrition and the gut microbiome: impact on brain health in older adults

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Investigation of oral and blood microbiome shifts in patients with depression.

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Vitamin D across the lifecycle to inform nutritional policies

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Epigenomic Profiling of Young Adults with Mental Health Disorders in Northern Ireland

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Investigation of the modifying effects of selenium in the relationship between methylmercury and child development

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences|Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Towards seeing clearly: does the shape of the eye’s optics affect our focus?

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details

Changing dietary patterns in the Seychelles and implications for public health

Closing date:
Friday 7 February 2020
Subject: Biomedical Sciences

 View details