Intelligent decision support systems for water quality monitoring (PhD Scholarship)

Intelligent decision support systems for water quality monitoring

Aberystwyth University, Computer Science

Project ID: AU30030
Annual Stipend: £14,340
Application Deadline: 16th August 2018

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water are responsible for the provision of safe drinking water to 1.4 million homes and businesses across Wales. From raw water acquisition, throughout water treatment and waste water management all processes are continually monitored by multiple inline sensors. All data is stored and records stretch back several years, covering a range of different events and incidents and the responses to them.

We will be working together with the Process Scientist in Ceredigion, who is part of the team responsible for managing drinking water treatment in West Wales, ensuring the provision of safe drinking water. She needs to react immediately to events as they occur, day and night to protect the public. For example, a stakeholder intervention such as the deposition of slurry on fields can increase raw water turbidity and microbial composition to a level that is outside of acceptable parameters within hours. In this case, urgent action must be taken to temporarily shut off the raw water inlet until levels meet raw water parameters. The length of time that this supply remains unavailable is time critical, since there is a limited volume held to buffer for these incidents. She also needs to make long-term decisions to minimise risk whilst minimising the costs of unnecessary intervention, for example the replacement of filter media.

The studentship will provide intelligent software and methods to analyse current and historic data from Dwr Cymru and allow the company to make smart real-time decisions. The software will make use of data mining, statistics, machine learning and data visualisation solutions and will investigate on-line anytime algorithms for processing data streams obtained live from the sensors.

A further stage to the work would be to investigate the potential for up-coming measurement technology that could provide further data about the water quality and its source.

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a 1st or good 2:1 in a relevant degree, and be available to take up the studentship by 1st October 2018. The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government. KESS II PhD scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners. (Applicants need to only apply, they do not need to search for partners.)

To apply, please submit the following to the Postgraduate Admissions Office (address below) by 16th August 2018:

  1. A completed Research Programme Application Form, two references. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from
  2. A completed KESS II Participant proposal form (put the reference number AU30030 in the top right hand box of the application form) and an up-to-date CV. KESS II application forms are available to download at the link below.

  1. A PhD proposal of up to 1,000 words where you expand on your experience and interests and describe why you are a good candidate for this research studentship. Please refer to the Project Description.

Value of Award: A stipend of £14,340 (rising in accordance with inflation for the remaining two years). Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research. KESS II PhD Scholarship holders do not pay fees.

Length: Full-time for 3 years. (Theses must be submitted 6 months after the funded three year study period.)

Training: The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory for each KESS II scholar (The PSDA is based on a 60 credit award, which is an additional award to the PhD).

Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for a KESS II award, you must be resident, upon starting the scholarship, in the Convergence Area of Wales and you must be able to take paid employment in the Convergence area on completion of the scholarship.

The Convergence Area means the following counties of Wales:

Isle of Anglesey
Neath Port Talbot
Rhondda Cynon Taff

For further student eligibility criteria related to the individual projects, please view the details of the individual project above.

Informal enquiries should be made to Amanda Clare at or 01970 622429

Address for applications:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Recruitment & Admissions
Student Welcome Centre
Aberystwyth University
SY23 3FB

Quote Reference AU30030

Closing date for applications 16th August 2018