Engineering Doctorate Studentship Novel, non-intrusive microwave sensors

Closing Date: 11th August 2013                                                                     

Desired Start Date: 1st October 2013

Context and Background

An opportunity exists for a Research Engineer to lead a joint research venture between Dynamic Flow Technologies Ltd and Loughborough University as part of the prestigious four-year Engineering Doctorate programme, leading to the award ‘Doctor of Engineering’.

At present non-intrusive flow measurement is undertaken by electromagnetic or laser Doppler measurements. These methods require either full pipes or clear fluid as wastewater flows are often measured as open channel levels by ultrasound or less reliably pressure transducers.  Open channel or permanently full pipes are not practical in most gravity sewers and the subsequent lack of available measurements makes it difficult to accurately control and bill usage in complex networks. 

Research Aim

To research the fundamental interactions of new meter microwaves within water and wastewater to develop and validate a new meter for quantitative and qualitative water analysis.

Research Objectives

Understand the effectiveness and range of potential applications of microwaves for water analysis:

Measure reflectance performance with different pipe diameters and materials (plastics).

Predict the impact of solids deposition or corrosion (wetted perimeter) and surges on microwave signals.

Understand the effect of pipe features; connections and geometry (bends, junctions) on microwave signals.

Carry out basic experimental research on the microwave adsorption spectra of different particle sizes and composition (organic/inorganic).

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Research the microwave absorption signature of priority pollutants in water and wastewater. 

Investigate the sensitivity of microwave signals on persistent problem compounds such as the plasticizers, pesticides and pharmaceutics in clean water.

Expected Outcomes

More reliable sensors and meters that allow better control of complex pipe distribution systems. 

Improvements in environmental quality, resilience to climate change, system deterioration and charging for services.

A range of commercially valuable analytical tools to improving the cost effectiveness of monitoring and control of complex process systems.

Independent validation of novel sensors and techniques linked to basic theory of flow and water quality. 

Understanding the effectiveness and benefits of new methods over a range of field and commercial conditions. 

Suitable Candidates

This EngD research project is open to graduates with a relevant degree in the built environment e.g. civil engineering, construction management, architecture or mechanical engineering, and that are articulate, well qualified and highly motivated. The minimum entry qualification is a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent. A lower qualification is acceptable only if supplemented with an appropriate postgraduate (MSc/MEng) qualification and relevant industrial experience.


The successful applicant will receive a minimum enhanced tax-free stipend of £19,000 p.a. and a training allowance. The stipend may be higher for experienced graduates. Due to Tier 4 visa restrictions on industry placements, this is only available to UK/EU applicants. 

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted with the relevant supporting documents (see how to apply) and should be made through Loughborough University’s Online Application Portal

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The successful candidate will be required to work at dynamic flow technologies in loughborough innovation centre whilst also attending loughborough university as required.

For informal discussions about the research project please contact Prof Andrew Wheatley at

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