EngD Studentship W5P14 – Leaching Potential of Pulverised Fuel Ash in Beneficial Use

Duration – 4 years

FundingThe studentship covers UCL tuition fees and provides a stipend of £15,726 pa (tax-free) plus a top-up of £2,500 by the industrial sponsor.  There will also be a budget for travel and research expenses.

Funding Body – EPSRC / UKQAA

Vacancy Information

In partnership with the United Kingdom Quality Ash Association (UKQAA; www.ukqaa.org.uk) and the UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, the Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience invites applications for a four year (one year MRes and three year EngD) studentship to work on an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK funded project.

Studentship Description

This project relates to efficient use of our materials resources, which is essential to sustainable development. Pulverised Fuel Ash (PFA) is a by-product from generation of electricity in coal-fired power stations. It has a wide range of uses, which are associated with technical benefits because of the material properties, and environmental benefits through resource efficiency, i.e., prevention of waste and conservation of natural resources. However, typically only about half of the UK production of 6 Mtpa of PFA are used, leading to stockpiling/landfill of large quantities. A significant barrier to use is that handling and use of PFA is controlled under European/UK waste legislation. A Quality Protocol published in 2010 provides criteria for removing waste controls for PFA used in bound applications, e.g., with cement in structural concrete. This EngD project will explore the potential to remove waste controls for PFA in unbound applications, such as road embankments, based on an understanding of the embankment water balance and potential leachability of elements found in the PFA. The UKQAA will design, construct and instrument a field-scale PFA test embankment, which will be monitored over time by the student.   Hydrogeological modelling based on the results from field monitoring, a laboratory programme and the literature will be used to predict potential emissions of elements from the embankment. The student will gain a deep understanding of characterisation and modelling of the geochemistry and hydrogeology of industrial by-products, as well as regulations and policy for waste management and resource efficiency.

Also Read  EngD Studentship: Biomass-Exacerbated cyclic oxidation of steels in steam (BECOSS)

Person Specification

Suitable candidates should have a good honours degree (2.1 minimum) in a relevant field, such as environmental engineering, chemistry or earth science, and be comfortable doing practical work in the field and in the lab, as well as with quantitative data analysis and modelling.


Applications are invited from UK and EU members, residing in the UK. Applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility requirements which can be found here http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/Pages/default.aspx.

Start Date – 23rd September 2013

Application Procedure

For more information about the project vacancy and how to apply, please visit http://engd-usar.cege.ucl.ac.uk/vacancies/ and upload a covering letter and CV indicating how you meet the criteria and demonstrating your passion for the research.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Julia Stegemann ( j.stegemann@ucl.ac.uk ).

Closing Date  – 5pm on Monday 22 July 2013

Interview Date – 29 July 2013

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