System Optimisation and Performance Measurement in Network Industries PhD

Business and Economics
Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
14 March 2018


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REF 2014


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll 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. 

Project detail

The School of Business and Economics’  Centre for Productivity and Performance (CPP) seeks applications for a PhD studentship focussed on system optimisation and performance measurement in network industries characterized by multistage production processes. Such research is relevant for internal cost benchmarking, and for policy makers seeking to incentivize and improve economic, environmental, and consumer outcomes in network industries.   

Applicants should have a strong background in economics, operational research, mathematics and/or statistics. The project will first develop an understanding of economic, managerial, and engineering factors influencing optimal system design; then integrate this understanding into an economic model of system costs; and finally apply his model using econometric and/or nonparametric data analysis methods.

While the project will develop generalizable methodologies, applied work will be in in the water and wastewater sectors: This is to allow the successful candidate to benefit from CPP’s existing capabilities, and to also actively take part in its existing collaborative partnerships and/or access databases in both the UK and internationally (Japan, Australia, Germany, and/or Spain). 

The successful applicant will join a thriving international research community. Your supervision will be led by Professor David Saal  who should be contacted to discuss your potential research agenda before applying. 


Primary supervisor: Professor David Saal

Secondary supervisor: Dr Maria Nieswand or another as appropriate for the successful candidate

Find out more

For further project details email Professor David Saal or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Business and Economics please visit our website.

Entry Requirements

UK Master’s degree (with average programme mark of no less than 65%) or International equivalent. English Language requirement of IELTS band 7.0 or above with not less than 7.0 in each component.

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements, details available on the website.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,777 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.  International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Business School

Please quote reference number: SBE-MNDS17

Please upload all the supporting documents listed below:

  • A curriculum vitae
  • A 500-word personal statement explaining your interest in, and aptitude for, the topic of this research project. In particular we would like to learn about what qualities you feel you can bring to the project.
  • 2-3 samples of writing such as MSc dissertation, journal or conference article, essays from your MSc degree
  • Copies of your transcripts/certificates
  • Two academic references.


Application details

Reference number:  SBE-MNDS17
Start date: 01 October 2018
Application deadline: 14 March 2018