Aerosolised microbial pathogens (commonly known as bioaerosols) are amenable to transport on airstreams through building sanitary systems and are recognised as contributors to infection spread within buildings. These microorganisms can be released in liquid droplets from human and environmental sources. Evaporation reduces these microorganism carrying aerosols to 1-5 μm diameter, facilitating transport through the air. While airborne transmission is well recognised for many respiratory pathogens environmental sources are often overlooked. Modelling of Bioaerosols requires an understanding of fluid/droplet interactions and the propagation of aerosols relative to the fluid flow.

The work will be based in the built environment water laboratory at our Edinburgh campus, supported by our microbiology department. The work will involve the development of CFD and Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) models to describe the generation of bioaerosols in building sanitary systems and describe their transmission and ultimate fate.

Scholarships will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend of approximately £14,500 for the 36 month duration of the project.

Applicants should have a first-class honours degree or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant subject, e.g. Building Services Engineering, Civil Engineering, or other numerate discipline. Candidates with qualifications in microbiology with a good engineering aptitude may also be considered. The scholarship will be awarded by competitive merit, taking into account the academic ability of the applicant.

How to Apply
Please complete our online application form. Please select PhD programme Construction within the application and include the project reference, title and supervisor on your application. 

Please also provide a written proposal, at least one side of A4, outlining how you would approach the research project. You will also be required to upload a CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and one academic reference. You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0 or a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 90 points.

Informal enquiries should be directed to the primary supervisor, Dr Michael Gormley, at

The closing date for applications is Friday 23rd February 2018. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in March 2018. Applicants MUST be available to start the course of study by June 2018.