PhD Studentship - IoT to Support Circular Economy Business Models in the Construction Sector

University of Surrey

Guildford and Maidenhead, Berkshire
Stipend of £18,000 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: sustainability

Closing date: Tuesday, 26th June 2018  


Centre for Environment and Sustainability, University of Surrey

Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability: Project Brief

Project Title: IoT to Support Circular Economy Business Models in the Construction Sector

Sponsoring organisation: Costain Ltd

Project Overview and Background

Costain’s goal is to develop innovative- engineering based solutions across the UK’s energy, water and transportation infrastructures.

Circular economy has the potential to transform our industry through use of revolutionary material, business models and technologies. This project would contribute to Costain’s mission through the creation of opportunities to support circular economy business models delivered by Internet of Things.

The focus of this project will be to identify key areas for Costain’s industry to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy and to develop trials to put these theories into practice. The successful candidate will work with the various stakeholders in the business to assess the lifecycle needs, both in terms of the contract and assets, to research the use of IoT in the infrastructure sectors. This will include detailed analysis and recommendations on the economic value that can be derived from a circular model.

Person specification

  • Passionate about innovation, sustainability and the environment
  • Previous experience (work or education) within the circular economy
  • English proficiency
  • Expertise in computer science and/or engineering
  • Inquisitive nature
  • Ability to work independently
  • Available to travel
  • Technical skills needed – such as computer programming skills in Office
  • Strong communication skills are necessary and evidence of stakeholder engagement at all levels is required.
  • The candidate must be able to display a capacity for independent thought, as well as a pragmatic attitude to working within industry

How to Apply

All applications must be made through the online application form and include ALL of the following documentation to be considered:

  • Up to date cv
  • Cover letter including why this project is of interest and how your experience and interests make you a suitable candidate.
  • Degree certificates and transcripts
  • Contact details for 2 referees – 2x academic references or 1x academic reference and 1x other reference

Please ensure you state specifically under ‘Research Area’ that you are applying for the Costain studentship.

Key Dates and Information

This project is due to begin on the 1st October 2018. The successful candidate will be based in Maidenhead, UK. The candidate will spend an initial 12 weeks in Guildford, UK undertaking intensive sustainability and personal development training.

The programme will run for four years.

The successful candidate will receive a generous stipend of £18,000 per annum throughout this time (with potential to increase to c. £20,000 per annum after two years). Stipends are usually tax-free and DPs will also benefit from an additional £500 p.a. allowance for attendance at conferences etc. In addition to this, full-time tuition fees will be covered at the current Home/EU rate for the duration of the programme.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 26th June and Interviews for this post will take place in London week of 9th July.


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