PhD Opportunities available: Passive biofiltration systems

Passive biofiltration systems have been used as the treatment approach for different polluted waters (including wastewater, stormwater, etc.). Based on the principles of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) biofilters are multifunctional systems with low construction costs, minimal energy and offer high amenity value to urban areas. However, the current biofilters provide variable removal of nitrogen and its species through nitrification and denitrification processes, hindering their application on high nitrogen content wastewaters. This PhD project is part of an ARC Discovery project (DP220103833: Passive biofiltration processes for effective nitrogen removal from polluted waters), aiming to understand novel Simultaneous Nitrification, Anammox and Denitrification (SNAD) processes within the biofilters for efficient nitrogen removal from a range of water sources (like pre-treated wastewater, greywater and stormwater). The anammox process in the biofilters will be studied through the comprehensively designed laboratory columns experiments. The impacts of nitrogen levels, compositions and other pollutants towards anammox process will be tested as well. A long-term performance of the complete SNAD process (involving annamox) will be investigated through the planted mesocosm studies.

The suitable PhD candidate is expected to have a background in water/environmental engineering or science. The candidate should have demonstrated aptitude for laboratory studies and understanding of urban management and/or environmental science (microbiological skills are highly valued). Good communication skills (both written and oral) are required. The successful PhD candidate will be based at Water Research Centre, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Kensington Campus). The research will be mainly supervised by Dr Kefeng Zhang and Dr Veljko Prodanovic, with external support from Prof. Ana Deletic (QUT). International students are required to apply for tuition fee scholarship (see details at  or equivalent scholarships (such as CSC) while a living expense stipend will be provided.

For further information on the project and scholarship details contact Dr Kefeng Zhang ( or Dr Veljko Prodanovic ( Applications and enquires should contain a cover letter, academic transcript and CV.  


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