PhD Studentship: On Developing Internal Benchmarking Methodologies and their Application to Improving the Cost, Quality and Environmental Performance of Water Companies (EPSRC-Funded)

Loughborough University
Loughborough, United Kingdom
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Primary supervisor: Prof David S Saal

Secondary supervisor: Dr Maria Nieswand

This PhD will use both empirical and theoretical methods to develop robust approaches of modelling water and wastewater operations at the nexus of economics, engineering and management. The successful applicant will work closely with Anglian Water to develop conceptually robust cost benchmarking models to address environmental, demographic and regulatory challenges and identify internal best practice. Moreover, if your models are successfully developed, you will also work closely with Anglian’s managers and engineers to apply them to assess costs and inform operational and strategic decision-making.  The project will therefore give you an opportunity to both understand and make real-world impact on firm performance

A successful project will provide excellent potential for  academic publication and launching a  potential research career, while also developing  your capabilities in understanding and measuring business and environmental performance , and how benchmarking can be employed to inform operational and strategic decisions aimed at improving business performance.

We are seeking a quantitatively minded doctoral student who is enthusiastic about conducting research at the interface between academia and industry. Backgrounds in economics, operations research, business management, water and wastewater engineering, or other related subjects are welcome.

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you will work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Find out more:

Entry requirements:

A UK Master’s degree or the international equivalent, ideally in operations research, economics, water and wastewater engineering, business management, or other related subjects (with average programme mark of no less than 65% or the International equivalent; excellent quantitative capabilities and communication skills; flexibility and willingness to travel. English Language requirement of IELTS band 7.0 or above with not less than 7.0 in each component.

Funding information:

Starting in October 2020, the studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15,285 p/a plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. To qualify for this full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the UK residency requirement. See

Contact details:

Name: Professor David Saal

Email address:

Telephone number: +44 (0) 1509 227 123

How to apply:

Applications should be made online at  Under programme name, select Business School  

Please quote reference number: SBE-DSMN20