The potential of constructed wetlands to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution

  • Overview:
    Storm water runoff typically contains and transports a wide range of pollutants, resulting in negative environmental effects with potential threats to ecosystems and health. Hundreds of runoff treatment ponds and constructed wetlands (CWs) intended to moderate these impacts are likely to be delivering sub‐optimal (and perhaps actually below legally required) levels of improvement in water quality due to poor understanding of flow patterns, hydraulic design parameters and the effects of vegetation. At the same time there is an increasing push to consider natural approaches to reducing flood risk. This is strongly supported by the EU Floods Directive, as the European Commission recognises that flooding is an increasing problem in Europe. This PhD research will generate a unique dataset to describe the influence of different types and configurations of aqueous system (i.e. CWs and ponds) hydraulic designs and vegetation on their fundamental flow, and treatment characteristics. Parallel aim of this PhD research is to quantify and assess the capability of CWs and ponds in the reduction of peak flows, in order to alleviate urban runoff during storm events. The proposed tools will ensure that future wetland and pond designs meet all their water quantity and quality requirements, and ecosystem services objectives for current legislation and the increasingly stringent EU regulatory framework anticipated over the next decade.

    Person specification
    An MSc or equivalent professional or research experience in civil engineering, hydraulics or water engineering. Knowledge of environmental science and flood risk management would also be useful.
    For international candidates, a valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.

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    How to apply
    The closing date for applications is 23.59 on Friday 28th June 2019.
    To apply, please complete the project proposal form and then complete the online application where you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement.
    You can find further details on studying for a PhD and details of how to apply here –
    Reference: CEBE-WETPOL

    The successful candidate will be supported by an interdisciplinary research team, consisting, in particular, of Dr Vasiliki Ioannidou ( and Professor David Proverbs ( For further information please contact the Director of Studies, Dr Vasiliki Ioannidou (
    The project is in collaboration with the Coal Authority, providing in-kind support through access to their facilities across the UK and obtained datasets as required.

    Funding notes
    The opportunity is open to Home, EU and International applicants who meet the required Birmingham City University eligibility criteria. The PhD studentship includes a full stipend, paid for a period of 3 years at RCUK rates (in 2019/20 this is £15,009 pa) and fees at Home/EU rate. This studentship is available for September 2019 start and no later than February 2020. International applicants are eligible to apply for this studentship but must meet the shortfall on fees between Home/EU and International rate.

  • Duration: 36 Months