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Dr J Broderick , Dr L Stamford , Dr A Welfle , Prof Alice Larkin No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The trade and movement of goods and resources is the engine that drives global economic growth and with it prosperity. Shipping represents the life blood of this process, where over 50,000 ships are key to the movement of around 90% of world trade. The growing shipping sector is calculated to be responsible for around 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and these are forecast to rise by between 50% and 250% by 2050 as the sector grows to facilitate global trade.

Emissions from shipping are often not considered or even accounted within carbon budgets and targets. However many of the goods and materials required to maintain daily life will have contributed to the global shipping sectors emissions.

A key target developed by the International Maritime Organisation’s Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping by 80% by 2050. This is an ambition reflected by the UK government, where the Department for Transport (DfT) has committed to “actively drive the transition to zero emission shipping in its waters, moving faster than competitor countries and international standards to capitalise on economic benefits and be seen as a role model in the field”.

The aim of this project is to explore the feasibility of alternative forms of energy and fuels for the future shipping sector, and to map Manchester’s shipping emissions footprint. The objectives are to develop a roadmap for the decarbonisation of UK shipping of the sector, and to identify actions cities like Manchester could implement to reduce the footprint of their shipping emissions.

Project outline
• This project will undertake a series of analyses to test feasibility of different energy and fuel options for future UK shipping including biofuels, ammonia, nuclear, wind, battery etc. For each of these a multi-criteria assessment will be undertaken to evaluate the economic, social, environmental and technical feasibility of different alternative energy options; and the feasibility of the potential for their use are retro-fit technology within existing fleets and/ or to be a core energy source for future ships. Through this process analyses will also be undertaken to evaluate how Manchester and North West Region industry sectors may be able to contribute to the decarbonisation of shipping.

• Greater Manchester has a new carbon budget developed by the Tyndall Centre. This aligns the targets of Paris Agreement with the decarbonisation roadmap for Greater Manchester. A key absence from the current carbon budget are emissions attributed to shipping relevant to Greater Manchester, as through the movements of goods and resources Manchester is contributing to emissions from shipping. A further task within this project will be to map Manchester shipping emissions, analyse how these impact Manchester existing emission targets, and to identify quantifiable actions that could be implemented to reduce these.

Potential Activities
• Through applying life cycle assessment, process modelling and techno-economic assessments – evaluate the potential performances of alternative shipping fuel options. These assessments will ideally be undertaken working in partnership with industry partners.

• Building on the carbon budgets and energy emissions expertise in the Tyndall Centre – undertake assessments to analyse alternative shipping fuel option from a climate change perspective.

• Undertake assessments to evaluate the feasibility of producing alternative fuels for shipping in the UK, the North West and Greater Manchester.

• Working with the Manchester Climate Change Agency, map Manchester’s contribution to global shipping emissions. This can potentially be included in future versions of the Manchester Carbon Budget. Then identify potential activities and actions Manchester could pursue to mitigate its shipping emissions footprint.

Tyndall Manchester Is part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, a world leading interdisciplinary research group which has produced impactful, policy relevant years for 20 years. At Tyndall Manchester researchers from engineering, physical science, social science and economics backgrounds working on the biggest challenges for climate change mitigation and adaptation. This includes current projects on energy system decarbonisation, bioenergy and carbon removal technologies, circular economy, the water-energy-food nexus, shipping and aviation, and community energy. Based in the University of Manchester’s School of Engineering, Tyndall Manchester has excellent links to departments across the University and with industry and policy makers worldwide. Recently shortlisted for the Guardian University Research Impact Award on sustainability, Tyndall Manchester has an ongoing commitment to impactful agenda setting research.

Funding Notes

Funding is provided by the School of Engineering and the EPSRC DTP. Home applicants and EU applicants who meet the residency requirement are eligible to apply

Information on standard fees is available at and information on typical stipend is available at

General enquiries relating to the postgraduate application process within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering should be directed to [Email Address Removed].


As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. As the School is committed to the principles of the Race Equality Charter Mark and Athena SWAN, we would particularly welcome applications from women and the black and minority ethnic (BME) community, who are both currently under-represented at this grade. All appointments will be made on merit.
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