Enhancing the sustainability of anaerobic digestio...

Campus Map

Working with Coventry University

Working at Coventry University

Coventry University is a diverse and exciting place to work and we share the enthusiasm of our staff and students to be the best at whatever they choose to do. As one of the City’s biggest employers, we offer some impressive benefits for our staff and are committed to delivering the very best opportunities. We have a comprehensive training, personal and professional development programme that provides our employees with the skills to enhance their performance in the workplace and grow in their careers. There are pension schemes, a generous holiday allowance and flexible working opportunities as well as lifestyle benefits including childcare vouchers, discounted membership to the £4 million sports and recreation centre and schemes such as Cycle to Work and the CU Car Share initiative.

View current job vacancies.


Staff portal

Access the central point of information for all staff across the University.


Student Portal

Check your assessments, access Solar and get course information.

banner image

Enhancing the sustainability of anaerobic digestion systems by using multi-objective optimisation algorithms

Eligibility: UK/EU/International students

Award Details: Self-funded

Duration: Full Time - 3 years 6 months fixed term; Part Time - 5 years fixed term

Application deadline: This opportunity will only remain open until a suitable candidate is identified- early application is therefore advised. Standard University research application closing dates apply.

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Dr. Jonathan Nixon to discuss this opportunity.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree with Coventry’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) can convert waste biomass into valuable renewable energy and agricultural products. However, there are numerous choices regarding technology types, feedstock mixtures, operating conditions and downstream applications. There are also significant differences in the use of AD in developing and developed countries, and each country has its own multifarious challenges that have prevented greater exploitation and sustainable development. As a result, AD systems are still generally designed by rule of thumb and optimisation tools are needed to achieve greater environmental and financial gains. There are several mathematical models that have emerged for simulating AD process dynamics, and these models provide opportunities for improving and optimising entire AD systems. Furthermore, multi-objective optimisation methods have become popular tools for renewable energy planning, but research on their use for anaerobic digestion is limited. The aim of this project is to design and optimise AD systems by integrating multi-objective optimisation algorithms with dynamic anaerobic digestion models. An output from the project will be an optimisation tool that is capable of guiding decision makers on implementing AD systems in a range of applications around the world.

About The Centre/Department

The Flow Measurement and Fluid Mechanics Faculty Research Centre undertakes fundamental and applied research into industrially-relevant complex flows including:

  • Smart Pipes, Vessels and Advanced Sensors
  • Process Tomography and Process Nowcasting
  • Fluid Mechanics of Complex Flows
  • Advanced Computing
  • Clean Combustion
  • Reservoir modelling

Flow measurement is an integral and vital part of many industrial processes. Plant control, product quality and safety systems are often underpinned by the need to measure flows of liquids, gases and solids. Trade of fuels, industrial feedstock and chemical products relies on accurate measurement of flow. Flow measurement is an essential element of all modern industrial societies.

Successful Applicants

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average, or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
  • Language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).


  • Knowledge and/or experience of anaerobic digestion is desirable, but not essential
  • A good knowledge of renewable energy and sustainability is expected
  • Experience in one or more of the following areas is highly desirable: energy systems modelling and optimisation, MATLAB, computer programming, multi-criteria/objective decision making, and decision support systems.

Eligibility & Application Procedure


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.