EPSRC DTP: PhD Scholarship in Steam Sensor Technology (2024)

A 3.5 year EPSRC DTP-funded PhD studentship in the department of Engineering under the supervision of Professor Cyril Crua. Available for September 2024 entry.

What you get

This project is funded by the Sussex EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, including £19,237 stipend and full fees up to the home rate for 3.5 years. In addition, to a one-off Research and Training Support Grant of £2,000.

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

Steam is a critical utility for industries such as manufacturing, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, chemical processing. In these industries the efficient use of steam is essential for optimising processes, reducing energy consumption, and ensuring product quality. Despite its importance, there is still no real-time sensor that can measure the steam’s quality (or ‘dryness fraction’) accurately and at scale, and so there is no reliable way to know the exact value of steam dryness along the system, which can lead to safety risks, energy waste, and quality issues. 

To address these issues the project will research, develop and demonstrate new optical sensors to characterise steam properties in high-pressure lines. This will provide a step change in steam metrology with the potential to deliver transformative improvements to a wide range of industries. 

The PhD candidate will work in close collaboration with the project partner: Spirax-Sarco Engineering, a FTSE 100 company and the world’s largest maker of steam control equipment. The team will install a new and unique high-pressure steam testing facility in our research laboratories at the University of Sussex. The test facility will then be used to research new sensors that are suitable for the harsh conditions found in steam lines, where high pressures, temperatures and humidity make measurements particularly challenging. We anticipate that the PhD candidate will build upon state-of-the-art optical and laser instrumentations that were developed and applied by the PhD supervisor to characterise highly complex multi-phase flows. 

The project offers a unique opportunity for the successful applicant to develop their independent research in metrology and experimental fluid dynamics. The successful candidate will be joining a team of multidisciplinary researchers in our Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TFMRC), work in close partnership with a global steam market leader (Spirax-Sarco), and under the guidance of an internationally recognised research team. This studentship will provide an outstanding training in optical measurement techniques, fluid dynamics and heat transfer, with many potential applications across the energy, transport and manufacturing sectors. 


This scholarship is available to UK applicants and EU applicants with settled status.

Eligible candidates will have an upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate degree or above, in a relevant field.

The University of Sussex believes that the diversity of its staff and student community is fundamental to creative thinking, pedagogic innovation, intellectual challenge, and the interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. We celebrate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion amongst our staff and students. As such, we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

Number of scholarships available



31 May 2024 23:45

How to apply

Apply online for a full time PhD in Engineering (SEP2024) using our step-by-step guide.

Please clearly state on your application that you are applying for the Steam sensor technology scholarship under the supervision of Prof. Cyril Crua.  

Please ensure you application includes each of the following: 

  • Degree certificates and transcripts. 
  • 2 references, including a minimum of 1 from any institution studied at within the last 5 years.
  • If your first language is not English you will need to demonstrate that you meet the University’s English language requirements, see here for details of our accepted documentation. 

Contact us

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof. Cyril Crua (c.crua@sussex.ac.uk). 

For general application queries, please email phd.engineering@sussex.ac.uk. 


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
31 May 2024 23:45 (GMT)


The award is available to people from these specific countries: