School of Computing and Engineering

Planning of Urban Water Systems for Climate Change Adaption using Metabolism based Modelling

Primary supervisor: Dr Kourosh Behzadian

Start dates: January, May and September of each academic year

Duration: 3 years for full-time PhD or 5 years for part-time PhD

Research context

Research at the University of West London lives in an ecosystem of interdisciplinary research. This PhD position is based in the School of Computing and Engineering.

Climate change can be categorised as one of the main drivers of change along with urbanisation and demographics. However, over 90 per cent of climate change impacts will be reflected through water, which emphasises the real need to plan and manage water resources. Acknowledging the high impacts of climate change on water, there is a fact that rapid urbanisation has reached to the point that the majority of the world’s population live in cities. All this makes the urban water systems as one of the most vulnerable components against climate change. Therefore, future planning of urban water systems needs to incorporate climate change adaptation strategies. The adaptation strategies also need to consider other urban system flows such as energy and carbon and pollution. This assessment can be conducted through a metabolism based modelling approach which will be the central to this PhD study.

Research goal

This PhD programme aims to develop potential intervention strategies in urban water systems which are based on climate change adaptation using urban metabolism based approach. The intervention strategies analysed here will be evaluated based on this fact that how they can increase the resilience of urban water systems again different levels of climate change (e.g. during flood, drought water stress and shock change events). The urban metabolism concept is extensively utilised here which directly deals with the quantification of the overall fluxes of energy, water, materials, nutrients and wastes into and out of an urban region. By utilising urban metabolism modelling, the system bottlenecks and hotspots are identified and thus a more objective intervention strategies can be defined to effectively improve the system performance under extreme events of the plausible climate changes.  

Candidate profile

Applicants will be expected to hold a good first degree (first or upper second class) and/or a Masters degree (or equivalent) in Civil Engineering, Water Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Natural Resources or other similar disciplines. The candidate should be able to work in a collaborative environment, with a strong commitment to reaching research excellence and achieving assigned objectives. It is expected that the PhD candidates will carry out applied research work that will start from the establishment of a theoretical framework, continue with the implementation of a software prototype and the experimentation with real data, and conclude with the validation of a proposed solution through a real-life case study.

Besides basic knowledge in water systems, background knowledge and/or previous experience in the following areas, though not mandatory, will be considered very favourably: programming languages (e.g. MATLAB, VBA or MS Visual Studio C#), water supply and urban drainage systems.

All applicants for whom English is not their first language must also demonstrate their English language proficiency through evidence of IELTS at overall 7 (with 6.5 in all four skills) or by providing access to MA/MSc chapters or published work.

Further information

For general enquiries about the application process visit the Graduate School pages.

Questions regarding academic aspects of the project should be directed to