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EPSRC FIBE2 CDT PhD studentship with McAuliffe: Engineered waste for sustainable and resilient land regeneration

This is a four-year (1+3 MRes/PhD) studentship funded through the Cambridge EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment: Resilience in a Changing World (FIBE2 CDT). The FIBE2 CDT aims to develop the next generation of infrastructure professionals who can create, shape and deliver the national vision for UK infrastructure, who will be equipped with a versatile and cross-disciplinary skill set to meet the most complex emerging challenges and contribute effectively to better infrastructure decision-making in the UK. Further details can be found at

The project is funded in collaboration with major UK design and build environmental contractor, McAuliffe Group and its specialist technical soils and groundwater remediation arm, Geostream UK

Waste is a significant challenge in major infrastructure projects and the ability to minimise and utilise waste will deliver significant cost savings and added value. Waste streams relevant to infrastructure projects include both mineral (industrial by-products, mineral wastes, EC&D waste) and organic waste (e.g. biomass and plastics). Contaminated land is another challenging and complex waste stream, with government, fiscal and environmental incentives encouraging remediation. A significant number of remediation projects currently involve some aspects of soil stabilisation and/or solidification processing with binder additions, which are also used for ground improvement as well as greening applications. The design criteria applied mean that a wide range of waste streams are suitable for use.

The project will map and prioritise several waste streams and explore their potential in the development of a range of smart, cost-effective and sustainable binders for use in land remediation and regeneration. The project will build on the significant advances made as part of the TSB project SMiRT (Soil Mix Remediation Technology). The project deliverables will contribute to national and global decarbonisation and circular economy strategies as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For general enquiries, please email For project-specific enquiries please e-mail Professor Abir Al-Tabbaa at

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree in a Bachelors or Masters in civil engineering, environmental engineering, environmental science or any relevant discipline. Laboratory experience with testing and analysis of contaminated soils would be advantageous.

FIBE2 CDT studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for eligible UK students. International (including EU) students will be considered for partial funding (home-level fees and maintenance) from the CDT. We recommend that international students apply by 3 December, in order that they can also be put forward for funding from the Cambridge Trust for the home-overseas fee difference if selected.

Further details about eligibility and funding can be found at:

To apply for this studentship, candidates must submit an application through the University's Graduate Admissions application portal:, with 'Engineering Waste for sustainable and resilient land regeneration' quoted on the form and Professor Abir Al-Tabbaa identified as the potential supervisor. There is a £70 fee for PhD applications.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.