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Augmenting indoor and outdoor building environment by optimising the effect of urban heat island (UHI) (Advert Reference: RDF20/EE/ABE/ZINGRE)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The urban and indoor thermal environments are complex outcomes of a number of factors including urban morphology, building materials, weather conditions, etc. In general, primary causes of urban heat island (UHI) effect include: a) Sensible heat storage in urban fabrics (buildings and impervious surfaces), b) Anthropogenic heat release, c) Reduced air circulation due to high-rise buildings, and d) Reduced evaporating surfaces in urban areas. The UHI effect can be found in many cities around the world with summertime air temperatures of up to 6oC higher than surrounding rural areas resulting in increased cooling demand and thermal discomfort (Zingre et al., 2017). However the UHI effect could be beneficial during winter in reducing heating demand especially for the buildings in the UK which experience both summer and winter seasons. This research aims to optimise the effect of UHI in order to improve the urban and indoor thermal environment for buildings in the UK. It is hypothesised that the effect of UHI could be optimised by developing novel building systems (e.g., renewable technologies) and materials for envelope surfaces. However the current state-of-the-art mainly focuses on mitigating the summertime UHI effect, therefore there is an utmost need to perform research on optimising the effect of UHI during summer as well as winter.

This research will involve literature review of the existing studies, computational and scale-modelling, and experimental measurements of building material properties, urban and indoor parameters (air temperature and humidity).

The research carried out through this studentship will shed new insights into advancement of scientific knowledge of developing novel building designs and envelope materials. Following are the main activities of this research work:

 Computational simulations (CFD and EnergyPlus)
 Scale-modelling and laboratory tests
 Developing novel designs for envelope surfaces and energy storage systems
 Integration and optimisation of various building systems.

This project is supervised by Dr. Kishor Zingre. The second supervisor will be Dr. Niraj Thurairajah.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/ABE/ZINGRE) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


1. KT Zingre, EH Yang and MP Wan, “Dynamic thermal performance of inclined double-skin roof: modelling and experimental investigation”, Energy, Vol. 133, pp. 900-912, 2017.
2. KT Zingre, MP Wan, X Yang, “A new roof thermal transfer value (RTTV) calculation method for cool roofs”, Energy, Vol. 81, pp. 222-232, 2015.
3. KT Zingre, MP Wan, SK Wong, WBT Toh, IYL Lee, “Modelling of cool roof performance for double-skin roofs in tropical climate”, Energy, Vol. 82, pp. 813-826, 2015.
4. KT Zingre, MP Wan, SK Wong, WBT Toh, IYL Lee, “Modelling of cool roof performance for double-skin roofs in tropical climate”, Energy, Vol. 82, pp. 813-826, 2015.
5. J Lei, K Kumarasamy, KT Zingre, J Yang, MP Wan, EH Yang, “Cool colored coating and phase change materials as complementary cooling strategies for building cooling load reduction in tropics”, Applied Energy, Vol. 190, pp. 57-63, 2017.

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