Using the Sustainable Development Goals to shape the future of geotechnical engineering

The Sustainable Development goals (SDG’s) have the potential to provide a framework for sustainability across all industry sectors.  For construction, the contribution towards carbon reduction, a key facet of the SDG’s, is well evidenced, but much of the research has focussed on what happens above ground.  This project will focus on the benefits that could be realised from the ground engineering sector; which includes geotechnical solutions such as heavy foundations and ground improvement.

Start date
1 October 2018
Application deadline
Funding information

The successful candidate will receive a generous stipend of £18,000 per annum throughout this time (with potential to increase to c. £20,000 per annum after two years). Stipends are usually tax-free and DPs will also benefit from an additional £500 p.a. allowance for attendance at conferences etc. In addition to this, full-time tuition fees (£4,195) will be covered at the current Home/EU rate for the duration of the programme.


Keller Group plc is the world’s largest specialist ground engineering contractor with a presence in over 50 countries and more than 12,000 employees worldwide.  Keller’s business is the solution of soil and foundation problems for the construction industry as well as developing specialised geotechnical techniques relating to the renovation of existing buildings and the increasingly important environmental contracting market.

This is an exciting opportunity to shape the Keller Group sustainability strategy, and influence the wider industry in this little explored field.  Business relevant key performance indicators, covering the full product life cycle (including but not limited to those relating to carbon and critical materials) will need to be identified to support the alignment of the business with the SDG’s. 

This project is due to begin on the 1st October 2018. The successful candidate will spend an initial 11 weeks in Guildford, UK undertaking intensive sustainability and personal development training, after which they will be predominately based at Heathrow.  

Related links
Keller Group

Eligibility criteria

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good masters degree (distinction normally required).

How to apply

For informal enquiries prior to application please contact Mrs Deidre Richardson for an information pack that will include:

  • A Project Brief
  • Information about the Centre for Environment and Sustainability
  • Details of the Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability programme.

Formal applications should be submitted through our Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability course page. You should make clear in your application that you are applying for this studentship.

Application deadline

Contact details

Prior to application please contact Mrs Deidre Richardson (, for an information pack that will include:

  • A project brief
  • Information about the Centre for Environment and Sustainability
  • Details of the Practitioner Doctorate in Sustainability programme
  • Specific application instructions.


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