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  AI-driven optimization of building envelope design with integrating Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology (Heriot Watt DUBAI campus)

   School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

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  Dr J Han  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The successful candidate is expected to based at Heriot Watt Dubai campus. 

There is a growing fervor surrounding the utilization of AI to craft data-centric strategies for mitigating carbon emissions and tackling various climate-related concerns. AI can be integrated with BIM platforms to facilitate seamless collaboration between architects, engineers, and other stakeholders throughout the design and construction process. By leveraging BIM data, AI algorithms can generate and evaluate multiple design alternatives rapidly, allowing for informed decision-making regarding building envelope design optimization. AI-driven optimization of building envelope design can significantly contribute to reducing building energy consumption, enhancing occupant comfort, and improving the overall sustainability of buildings. By leveraging advanced analytics and simulation techniques, AI empowers Architects and Engineers to create more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building designs.

The candidate will be expected to work in the areas of dynamic building simulation and optimization with AI algorithms. It facilitates dynamic simulations of building performance under different environmental conditions and occupancy scenarios. The candidate will utilize AI technology to analyze airflow patterns, thermal comfort levels, and energy consumption to optimize building envelope design iteratively. Various glazing options based on factors such as solar heat gain coefficient(SHGC), visible light transmittance (VLT), and U-factor are to be considered to optimize the performance of windows and glass facades. The study aims to seek sustainable and suitable glazing solutions to balance energy efficiency and occupant comfort with AI on the BIM platform and other digital technologies such as Machine Learning.

Informal inquiries regarding the details of the project are welcomed and should be directed to the PhD project Supervisor Dr. Jun Han ([Email Address Removed])


This project is open to all students, whether home, EU or overseas.

The successful candidate will have at least an upper second-class (2:1) undergraduate honours degree in the relevant subject area and ideally a Masters Degree. We may also consider candidates who can demonstrate appropriate alternative learning such as experience gained in the workplace or professional qualifications.

We recognise that not every talented researcher will have had the same opportunities to advance their careers. We therefore will account for any particular circumstances that applicants disclose (e.g. parental leave, caring duties, part-time jobs to support studies, disabilities etc.) to ensure an inclusive and fair recruitment process.  

How to Apply

To apply you must complete our online application form.

Please select PhD Construction as the programme and include the full project title, reference number and supervisor name on your application form. Ensure that all fields marked as ‘required’ are complete.

Once have entered your personal details, click submit. You will be asked to upload your supporting documents. You must complete the section marked project proposal; provide a supporting statement (1-2 A4 pages) documenting your reasons for applying to this particular project, outlining your suitability and how you would approach the project. You must also upload your CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and an academic reference in the relevant section of the application form.

You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0, or a TOEFL certificate with an overall score of at least 85, including reading 20, listening 19, speaking 20 and writing 21. Alternatively, if you have received an English-taught Bachelors or Masters degree from one of the countries listed on the UK Government Guidance under ‘Who does not need to prove their knowledge of English’, and it was obtained less than two years from your intended start date, you should provide evidence of your award that clearly states it was delivered and assessed in English language.

The primary supervisor for this project is Jun Han. Please contact [Email Address Removed] for further information or an informal discussion.

Please contact [Email Address Removed] for technical support with your application.


The closing date for applications is 22 March 2024 and applicants must be available to start in September 2024.

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Computer Science (8) Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This is a fee waiver scholarship which will cover tuition fees (Home and Overseas) only for the initial 42 months of the project.
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