Sanitising efficacy of a new Hot Tub Water enzyme treatment product-eco3spa.

Key Information

Supervisor: Dr G van Keulen, Dr C Tizaoui and Dr C Phillips

Expected Interview Date : 21st June 2019.

SureSpa Limited, located near Alton in Hampshire, has been involved in the hot tub industry for over fourteen years. The company has recently launched a new hot tub water treatment ‘kit’ which uses a combination of enzymes, coconut extract and active Oxygen tablets to treat domestic hot tub water. The product removes microbial films from thot tub surfaces and piping and generally sanitises the hot tub environment. The product is more environmentally friendly and significantly less irritant to the skin and eyes than chlorine and bromine based products, which are traditionally used as disinfectants in swimming pools. There is a strong consumer demand from people wanting more ‘eco-friendly’ products to treat their hot tub water, whilst maintaining water quality.

The new product is known as eco3spa. The product is designed to be a complete 3-month hot tub water treatment ‘kit’ for a typical hot tub water volume of 1500-2000 Litres, and comprises three components:

  • A hot tub cleaner to remove the bio-film layer int eh pipework, jets etc.
  • A hot tub conditioner to remove organic wastes and soften the water and;
  • An Active Oxygen sanitiser. 

Active Oxygen is recognised as a hot tub microbial disinfectant in its own right and is thought to work more efficiently at a higher temperature of a hot tub when compared to the lower temperature of a swimming pool. There is however, very little quantitative data to back this up.

The successful candidate will: 

  • Test the efficacy of the Active Oxygen tablets against typical hot tub infectious agents such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa at a range of concentrations, PH values, water hardness levels, and at temperatures typically found in hot tubs.
  • Determine if and how the addition of Water Conditioner at a range of concentrations affects the performance of the tablets.
  • Test enzyme activity and sanitising efficacy at different formulations of the overall product.
  • Author a report substantiating the efficacy of the eco3spa product, intended to inform potential customers and support future recruitment of dealers in the UK and EU, by providing credible evidence of eco3spa efficacy.
  • To work collaboratively with SureSpa to assist with ongoing development of eco3spa for swimspas.

Swansea University is a top 30 UK institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. 

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry; providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. This project will involve close collaboration with the Institute of Life Sciences in the Swansea University Medical School.

The M2A is committed to delivering high quality collaborative research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.

The successful applicant may participate in our career mentoring scheme, offering opportunities to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University. 

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN Bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation. Swansea University Medical School is an Athena SWAN Silver award holder.

Applications from women are particularly welcomed. As a positive action to address gender imbalance, female undergraduates considering a career in research are invited to join our two-day laboratory taster session and learn about a typical in the life of a research engineer.

Interested candidates are warmly invited to contact the supervisory team, especially Dr G van Keulen (g.van.keulen@swansea.ac.uk, tel+44(0)1792-602669) or Dr C Tizaoui (c.tizaoui@swansea.ac.uk, +44(0)1792-606841), for more information about the project and/or to discuss the suitability of candidature.

Sponsoring Company SureSpa Ltd
Company Website Eligibility

We welcome applications from candidate with a degree in Chemical / Biochemical Engineering, Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology or Biosciences (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent relevant experience to the same level to join the M2A community of research engineers. 

To be eligible for WEFO funding, applicants should:

  • Be a UK or EU citizen (eligible for home tuition fees at Swansea University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of their studies.
  • Be resident within West Wales and the Valleys at the time of enrolment and for the duration of the candidature.
  • Must not be financially able to participate in study for a postgraduate research degree without the award of this funding.

Full fees at Home/EU rate for a period of one academic year.

Maintenance stipend of £12500 per annum for a period of one year.

Closing Date 27 May 2019

Start Date October 2019

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk