FindAPhD Weekly PhD Newsletter | JOIN NOW FindAPhD Weekly PhD Newsletter | JOIN NOW

BENEFIT - Building Evaluations for Indoor Air Quality and Comfort in the Non-Residential Sector Following Energy Efficient Improvement

   School of Physics

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr James McGrath, Dr Miriam Byrne  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The BENEFIT project focuses on the need to improve the energy efficiency of the entire building stock (both domestic and non-domestic) by meeting higher energy performance standards and increasing retrofit activity. However, it is unclear how energy-efficient improvements might exacerbate indoor air quality issues.

Internationally, there is a recognised need to improve the energy efficiency of the entire building stock (both domestic and non-domestic) by meeting higher energy performance standards and increasing retrofit activity. However, it is unclear how energy-efficient improvements might exacerbate indoor air quality issues.

This project will evaluate indoor air quality, risks of overheating and occupant comfort following energy-efficient improvements in non-domestic Irish buildings. This project will focus on three distinct cohorts to establish baseline metrics: deep energy retrofitted buildings, newly constructed energy-efficient buildings and previously retrofitted classrooms. Multizone monitoring will be employed utilising a novel hybrid methodology, capturing longer-term IEQ trends and precision measurements on key air pollutants of concern. Complementary information will be gathered on thermal comfort, building characteristics, post-occupancy evaluation, occupancy/activity schedules and will be correlated with trends that account for the above features. Models will be calibrated against the experimentally-obtained data to provide complementary analysis of various retrofit measures, ventilation strategies, meteorological conditions, current/future climate conditions, occupancy scenarios and emission profiles. Finally, the project will focus on developing solutions, and recommendations will support the development of specific retrofitting guidelines in the context of ventilation.

Applications are invited for a PhD student to join a multidisciplinary project team. The PhD student’s research will focus on the design and execution of an indoor environmental quality monitoring campaign, the analysis of the data collected, and the evaluation of ventilation strategies in the Irish building regulations. The candidate will work alongside a separately-recruited Research Fellow who will support the student during the project.

The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and have a demonstrable interest in and experience of laboratory or field-based environmental measurement, ideally related to indoor/outdoor air pollution, building energy performance or building physics. In addition, the candidate must have the following qualifications/skills:

·     First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and/or Masters level in a Physical Science or Engineering discipline, or equivalent discipline

·     Be prepared to work in a multidisciplinary environment.

·     Excellent verbal and written communication (English language) skills

·     Valid European driving licence (necessary for fieldwork)

·     Excellent interpersonal skills

·     Willingness to learn computational modelling approaches to understanding indoor air pollution, ventilation and energy status of buildings

The studentship will be provide an annual stipend (tax-free) of €18,500 and PhD tuition fees will be covered for a maximum of 4 years. The student will be based at the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (CCAPS) in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway and will spend time conducting fieldwork at other sites in Ireland.

This research work will equip the PhD student with skills in the following research areas:

·     Environmental and ventilation monitoring

There will be opportunity to develop expertise in state-of-the-art indoor air quality monitoring to gaseous and particle measurements, including remotely-operating low-cost sensors compared with research-grade instruments. A focus will include understanding the aerosol behaviour and characterisation techniques.

·     Ventilation Characterisation

Trained will be offered on various experimental techniques to characterise ventilation, to promote a deep appreciation of the relationship between ventilation and energy consumption within dwellings.

·     Data science

There will be an opportunity to develop expertise in data analytics and statistical expertise from analysing the large datasets generated by the remote sensors and computational models.

·     Policy experience

 Exposure to policy and health guidelines will be gained by contributing as a scientific advisor to public bodies by developing specific retrofit recommendations.

Applicants should submit a CV, two referees (at least one academic), and a (max 1-page) cover letter outlining their academic experience, interests, and motivation for pursuing a PhD. The application deadline is February 11th, 2022 at 5 PM Irish Time, with interviews to follow.

Expected start date: April/May 2022 (although some flexible exists surrounding the start day).

For informal discussions, contact Dr James McGrath, email: [Email Address Removed]

Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway

For information on moving to Ireland, please see 

Further information about NUI Galway Physics is available at:

NUI Galway Physics has a strong commitment to promoting equality and diversity, and holds an Institute of Physics Juno Practitioner award and an Athena SWAN Bronze award -)

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs