Non-exhaust emissions of airborne nano/ultrafine particles from road vehicles

This project will focus on building the understanding of non-exhaust emissions of airborne particles from road vehicles.

Start date

1 October 2022


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Surrey

Funding information

The studentship funding covers academic fees for UK students. Any overseas candidates should consider to apply if they are able to cover the difference between the home and overseas fee by own means. You will also receive a stipend of £15,609 per annum to cover your living expenses. Additional funding will be made available to present your work at a conference and for project-related costs. Opportunities for tutorial support in the department are available and will enhance your teaching experience and may provide further income.


The UK government policy to discontinue the sale of diesel and petrol cars, starting from 2040, and promote the use of electric vehicles is expected to have significant impact on the tailpipe emissions from the road vehicles.

The non-exhaust emissions from road vehicles are expected to become important. These emissions could arise from brake wear, tire wear, road surface wear, and resuspended road dust. These emissions include particulate matter in diverse size ranges that are measured by mass as well as the airborne ultrafine or nanoparticles that are measured by numbers. There is a significant knowledge gap in the understanding of non-exhaust emissions from different type of vehicles.

The primary objectives of this PhD project is to develop: (i) a novel experimental setup to facilitate the monitoring of non-exhaust emissions of airborne particles, including nano/ultrafine particles, for developing the emission factor profiles of hybrid and electric vehicles; (ii) the understanding of non-exhaust contributions to atmospheric particles in roadside environments; (iii) combining findings for developing appropriate model for non-exhaust emissions; and (iv) technical solutions to reduce non-exhaust emissions. The detailed specific objectives will be defined in discussion with the student at the beginning of the project considering the candidate’s strength and the opportunities available.

The PhD project will be supervised by Professor Prashant Kumar, who is a founding Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (more about GCARE). The candidate will have the opportunity to closely work with the diverse and multidisciplinary GCARE team and collaborate with various ongoing projects and beyond. They will work with the relevant GCARE collaborators within University and beyond. They will be an active member of the Guildford Living Lab, allowing the student to disseminate their research and build their communication skills to translate complex science to the public.

This is a 3.5-year project, commencing from July or October 2022.

Related links

Facilities at the GCARE’s Air Quality Lab Guildford Living Lab

Eligibility criteria

GCARE has a multidisciplinary team where researchers from all backgrounds are most welcome. This project will be suitable for a student with a degree in science (atmospheric, physics, chemistry, mathematics, geoscience or material Science), engineering (environmental, civil, mechanical, chemical, computer), or a closely related environmental/physical science discipline. Some experience of physicochemical characterisation of particles and data analysis would be extremely useful.

If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6.

How to apply

The interested candidates are requested to send their CV directly to Professor Prashant Kumar ( Upon his confirmation, you are welcome to make a formal application through the Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD programme page.

The candidates are encouraged to send their CVs, including any publications, as early as they can to Prof Kumar. Applications will be regularly assessed to interview candidates on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Studentship FAQs

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Application deadline

Contact details

Prashant Kumar
26 AA 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 682762


GCARE is a multidisciplinary centre that was founded and directed by Professor Kumar. Its research is supported through a wide range of UKRI (e.g., NERC, EPSRC, ESRC, Innovate UK), H2020, industrial and international (e.g., FAPESP Brazil, QNRF Qatar) grants. With the mission to realise ‘clean air for all’, GCARE’s Air Quality Lab is well-equipped with a wide range of experimental facilities/equipment (e.g. ELPI+, DMS500) to support the advertised project. Further information can be found on the GCARE website.


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