PhD Opportunities available: Green technology development for stormwater treatment

Green technologies mainly refer to the plant-soil-based systems used in the urban areas for the stormwater management purposes, including biofilters, constructed wetlands, green walls etc. These natural-based solutions are based on the concept of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) to provide flood mitigation, pollutants treatment and urban landscape amenity simultaneously. However, their performance in removing the pollutants is still inconsistent with the required treatment targets, including the nutrients and organic micropollutants. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the intrinsic removal mechanism of different pollutants during the process and find out the suitable operational conditions for the system running. This research project will build on the previous research on biofilters for stormwater treatment to explore a proper way for system optimization. The detailed steps include: (1) developing and testing different biofilters configurations (including water balance, hydraulic loading); (2) understanding the key removal processes (adsorption, biodegradation etc.) for different pollutants (nutrients, organic pollutants etc.); and (3) large scale experiments for the validation studies.

The successful student will join the WaterGUM research team ( in Water Research Centre at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. There is possible collaboration with other universities as well as industrial partners for this project. The suitable candidate will have a background in water & environmental engineering. The candidate should have a demonstrated aptitude for undertaking laboratory/field work and an understanding of urban stormwater management and green technologies. The candidate should have excellent communication skills. The student needs to be successful in securing their own primary scholarship via RTP or UIPA or TFS schemes or CSC scholarships (or equivalent):

Further information on the project and scholarship on offer may be obtained from Dr Kefeng Zhang ( Applications for the scholarships (including a cover letter, academic transcript and CV) should be submitted to Dr Kefeng Zhang, UNSW Water Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052.



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