Engineering: Fully Funded MSc by Research at Swansea: Improving Efficiency of Wastewater Treatment

  • Master
  • Full cost of UK tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 5 April 2021

Engineering: Fully Funded M2A MSc by Research: Improving Efficiency of Wastewater Treatment at Morfa Coke Ovens

Start date: October 2021

Academic supervisor: Dr C Tizaoui and Dr C Wright

Industry supervisor: Mr N Cadogan-Clark

Sponsoring company: Tata Steel in Europe


Port Talbot Steel Works produces large volumes of effluent which must be treated prior to being discharged to the Bristol Channel via the ‘Long Sea Outfall’. Effluent is closely monitored for chemical emission to water to ensure compliance with environmental permits to operate. Particular compounds of interest for removal are produced via the Coke production process (carbonification) and include polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), ammonia and H2S so control of the biological effluent treatment plant is critical to remaining within permitted limits.

The biological effluent treatment plant is capable of treating 1.3 million litres of effluent and uses bacteria and other microorganisms (fondly referred to as bugs) to oxidise and breakdown the different components. Therefore, control of effluent conditions is important to optimise the treatment. A healthy system requires a stock of healthy bacteria, together with a steady supply of food(effluent), enough oxygen to allow oxidation to proceed, and ways of removing CO2 and the excess sludge mass formed by growth and reproduction.

Project Aims:

The work aims to understand biological makeup of the Biological Effluent Treatment process and to determine process drivers or solutions for improved removal efficiency, for pollutants from effluent released from the coke plant through:

1. Identify the main drivers for efficiency of the removal of pollutants, by bacteria present in the effluent treatment plant.

2. Measure ‘bug’ age and consider how to optimise setup.

3. Identify whether it is possible to remove ammonia from the effluent using the current setup.


We welcome applications from candidates with a degree (minimum level 2:1) in an Engineering discipline (e.g. Chemical, Environmental, Civil) but will accept other physical sciences disciplines (e.g. Chemistry, Biochemistry), or equivalent relevant experience that would enable the candidate to fulfil the role.

We would normally expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g. IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.


The scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £12,500 for a period of one year.


Please visit our website for more information.


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