School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Postgraduate research

Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA)

CENTA stands for Central England NERC Training Alliance, a consortium of Universities and research institutes that are working together to provide excellence in doctoral research training within the remit of the Natural Environment Research Council. The CENTA group comprises four other universities in addition to Loughborough (University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, University of Warwick, and the Open University) and two partner organisations (British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology).

CENTA will host studentships across the range of NERC science with particular focus on four key science themes:

  1. Anthropogenic impact and environmental sustainability
  2. Evolution of organisms and ecosystems
  3. Dynamic Earth
  4. Organisms, ‘omics and biogeochemistry


Applications for projects for an October 2018 start are now closed but new PhD projects will appear on this page in autumn 2018 for an October 2019 start – please return to this page regularly to check. Projects are also advertised at and on the Loughborough PhD Portal, The projects below were those advertised for 2017 and give some idea of the breadth of NERC-relevant environmental research that we undertake at Loughborough. In the meantime, please contact individual members of staff if you wish to discuss developing a project for future consideration as a PhD topic. 


Previous years' NERC CENTA studentships at Loughborough University
Principal SupervisorLoughborough SchoolProject Title
Dr Tim Marjoribanks Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Assessing the impact of in-channel vegetation on flood risk.
Dr Ian Pattison Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Natural Flood Management: How could our future rural landscape look? 
Dr Ian Pattison Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Designing for Flood Resilience: The role for Green Infrastructure.
Dr Rene Wackrow Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Interactions between river morphology and vegetation using SfM Photogrammetry.
Dr Tom Dijkstra Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering Exploring community-based geohazard response schemes in Gansu, China. 
Dr Louise Slater Geography A Big Data Approach to Forecasting Global Hydological Extremes.
Dr Jon Millett Geography Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS; drones) for mapping vegetation patterns and processes on peatlands. 
Dr John Hillier Georgraphy Catastrophe Modelling of UK Storm Surge Risk.
Prof Joanna Bullard Geography Dust fluxes in the high latitudes: quantification and drivers. 
Dr Matthew Baddock Geography Multi-scale remote sensing of high latitude dust.
Dr Matthew Baddock Geography Post-fire dunefield ecological recovery.
Dr Jeff Evans Geography Fjord meltwater and sediment delivery in a fast changing high Arctic environment.
Dr David Ryves Geography Waking the dead: Evolutionary responses of Daphnia spp. to biophysical disruption in tropical lake systems.