PhD in Environmental Decision Support

EU Marie Curie Salaried Post

(Operational Research, Artificial Intelligence, Mathematical Modelling, Optimisation, Data Mining)

Closing date: Friday 15 November 2013

The University of York has gained EU Marie Curie funding to recruit a team of 12 enthusiastic researchers to investigate issues, impacts and decisions related to pollution in cities. The CAPACITIE (Cutting-Edge Approaches for Pollution Assessment in Cities) project brings together a world-class team of interdisciplinary researchers from Environment, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Physics and Sociology at the internationally leading University of York.

Monitoring data will impact on the lives of city dwellers through better decision-making at strategic and operational levels. In this project, the wealth of accurate and timely monitoring data from the variety of sources from 11 sister PhD projects and elsewhere (e.g. weather and map data) will be used in combination with detailed models of urban systems and city-dwellers, and advanced algorithms and heuristics from operational research and artificial intelligence. The result will be decision support systems which allow for visualisation of pollution data, leading to better decisions.

We build on a close collaboration between the University of York and Gaist Solutions Ltd. ( In this project, the PhD student will work closely with Gaist to incorporate environmental monitoring data into Gaist’s state-of-the-art geographical information systems, and use complex system models, optimisation heuristics and machine learning algorithms to develop decision support systems for long-range questions such as 1) Where should pollution-sensitive facilities be located? 2) Where should polluters be located? 3) How might we influence polluters to minimise the impact of pollution on urban city dwellers? 4) Which information or visualisations are most likely to influence environmental behaviour? We will also consider real-time operational decision support, for example to use monitoring data within navigation software for foot and road travel, and to consider the sensitivity of environmental impact to different operational decisions and modelling assumptions.

Also Read  The INSPIRE PGCE Programme

For further information on the CAPACITIE project, including details of the other 11 PhD vacancies, see If you have questions about this project please contact Professor Peter Cowling (, Dr Stephen Remde ( or Steve Cinderby (

Successful candidates will be required to take up the PhD position on 1 March 2013 and will receive a competitive salary (≈ 38,000 Euro) and travel allowances for a period of 36 months. To be eligible, you must hold at least an upper second class honours degree (BSc or equivalent)

The positions are only available to non-UK residents and those who have resided in the UK for less than 12 months in the last 3 years. We strongly encourage women to apply as CAPACITIE strives to achieve gender balance and promote women’s involvement in research.

Applications should be emailed to Cc:, and before Friday 15 November 2013. Applications should include 1) a covering letter clearly indicating that you are applying for “PhD12: Use of monitoring data and ICT to support city planning decisions”; 2) a curriculum vitae; 3) proof of proficiency in English, if from a non-English speaking country (e.g. IELTs certificate) and 4) two academic references. We anticipate that shortlisted candidates will be interviewed during the first week of December. Please include “PhD12” in the subject line of your application email.

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