KESS2 PhD in Engineering: Understanding Welsh mining legacy impacts for predicting the environmental impacts of future global mining

    Cardiff University
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    30/06/2018 12:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › Cardiff

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales.

It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme, by partners from the West Wales and the Valleys areas of Wales, and by Cardiff University.


Making a prediction about the geochemical behaviour of mine waste is a very difficult technical challenge as the process involves complex interactions between Engineering aspects of mine design and environmental factors such as climate, geology, mineralogy and microbiology. The complex combination of factors can mean that pollution may not begin for many years after the cessation of mining but may continue for hundreds of years into the future.

Due to the system complexity, common tests used in the prediction of mining waste contamination may be misinterpreted and or the results of the tests may be misleading due to premature termination.

Project aims and methods

In Wales there are many mine sites, many of which are hundreds of years old. If we can better understand the processes involved in the long-term weathering of mine wastes at these sites we can not only improve outcomes for Wales’s environment but develop this knowledge for better environmental impact prediction for mine site around the world.

As such this project will involve testing fresh rock from case-study mine sites in Wales, undertaking the current experimental protocols for making predictions of pollution, make geochemical predictions from these tests and critically, we can compare to the current mine site geochemistry and drainage of sites which are decades to centuries old.

This allows us the exciting potential to test existing protocols and develop novel test protocols that yield predictions which are demonstrably improved and represent actual contaminant release observed in the field.


Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

.£3K per year for consumables, training, travel and small equipment costs.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible students must be able to provide documentary evidence of a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region of Wales at the time of their KESS2 application and enrolment for study.

The West Wales and the Valleys region is made up of the following 15 local authorities:

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Gwynedd
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Merythr Tydfil
  • Caerphilly
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Torfaen.

Applicants must also be prepared to provide proof of identity and income as part of the stipend assessment process. Further details are available from the KESS2 Office.

Offer Requirements


Applicants for research PhDs at Cardiff University are expected to have one or both of the following:

  • a first degree, normally with class 2:1 or higher, or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • a relevant Master's qualification or equivalent research experience / research training.

Specific Requirements

Applicants must:

  • have a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys (WWV) region at the time of their application for KESS2 funding and their enrolment for the course of study
  • a legal right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the KESS2 support, and the right to take up paid work in the WWV region on completion of the scholarship
  • classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student.

Map Information

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Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Cardiff University
United Kingdom

EURAXESS offer ID: 286358