University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


EPSRC FIBE2 CDT PhD studentship with Costain: Performance-Based Concrete as a Route for CO2 reduction

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 Costain. Costain's purpose is to improve people's lives by creating connected, sustainable infrastructure that enables people and the planet to thrive.

Project details: Cement production is responsible for 5-7% of man-made CO2 emissions. A rapid transition to lower carbon concrete is an imperative and the pathway relies on the urgent implementation of performance-related thinking. Design, procurement, performance and standards are intrinsically inter-linked and are key enablers individually and collectively. A robust digital evidence base for accurate prediction and measurement of concrete performance coupled with strategies to incentivize performance based design are fundamental strands to overcome the challenges of lower carbon concretes.

PhD research areas include: in-depth laboratory and analytical studies to characterise performance across a suite of concrete mixes reflecting aspirations for cement reduction; development of novel concrete performance indicators tensioned against conventional practice; role of advanced sensing for fresh state and hardened state behaviour; measurement insights to reveal predictable parameters based on knowledge of constituents and processing; physics-based and data-driven insights to reduce uncertainty in the delivered performance and for the selection of promising mixes; experimental and practical validation using the Cambridge Civil Engineering laboratories in tandem with practical site trials/demonstrators e.g. on-site batching and material laboratories.

For project-specific enquiries please e-mail Prof Janet Lees ( For general enquiries, please email

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) a first class University degree (MEng or MSc) with a civil engineering or material science background including an awareness of concrete materials, interest in concrete design, behaviour and experimentation, an ability to engage with a range of multi-disciplinary academic and industry stakeholders and initiative and independence. Relevant industrial experience would be an advantage.

The FIBE2 CDT studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for UK students. A small number of funded places may be available for excellent EU/international students. Further details about eligibility and funding can be found at:

Applications should be made online , stating course code EGEGR3 with Project: Performance-Based Concrete as a Route for CO2 reduction with supervisor Prof Janet Lees stated on the form.

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