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Impact-based weather forecasting for the renewable energy sector


Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

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Dr C White , Dr D Bertram , Prof Stuart Galloway , Assoc Prof Daniela Domeisen No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
Glasgow United Kingdom Climate Science Environmental Engineering Meteorology

About the Project

Over the next 20-30 years, the UK’s energy system will undergo significant change as it transitions to a low carbon, net zero, more sustainable world. This transition must be managed in the face of climate change, in which extreme events such as flooding and storms are becoming more frequent and severe, and other emerging hazards, such as heatwaves and wildfires, are becoming more prevalent.

Extreme weather-driven hazards have serious impacts on essential infrastructure, including energy systems and the essential services they provide for power, food, water, and transport. The resilience of our electricity system to extreme weather events – in particular its ability to prepare for and prevent interruptions to supply of power, and the ability of society to follow warnings to protect its citizens and provide essential services in event of electricity outages – requires wider evaluation. The challenge is how can we better prepare the renewable energy sector for high-impact extreme events?

Accurate weather forecasts alone are not sufficient. Forecasts and warnings are evolving from not just forecasting the likelihood of weather events, such as heavy rainfall or storms, but forecasting their impacts. Impact-based approaches to risk communication – both to the public and to sectoral stakeholders – have been shown to better build trust in warning systems, leading to more effective actions. As we move to a net zero, renewable energy world, there is a need to develop timely new approaches that integrate impact-based forecasting with co-design and risk-based information that is shared and communicated to enhance the energy network’s resilience and response to extreme events.

The Centre for Water, Environment, Sustainability & Public Health at the University of Strathclyde, in collaboration with ETH Zürich, is looking for an motivated PhD candidate to undertake research that addresses the challenge of extreme weather events facing the energy sector by exploring the potential of next generation impact-based forecasts. The research work will: explore the correlations between extreme weather events, energy provision, outages and energy demand in response to more frequent extreme weather phenomena in a changing climate; co-develop scenarios, tools and impact- and risk-based models for the prediction and assessment of energy-sector relevant extreme events; and explore the opportunities and benefits of impact-based forecasting for the energy sector on different spatial scales (e.g., between city, suburban, and rural locations, or between regional and national scales) and forecasting time scales (e.g., nowcasting, numerical weather prediction, long-range probabilistic forecasting).

The ideal candidate should have a desire to work in an interdisciplinary, applications-focused field of growing importance. He/she will be a practical self-motivated person who will lead the development and direction of their project. Applicants should hold (or expect to get) a minimum of an upper second class honours degree or an MSc with distinction in engineering, physical sciences, maths, or a related field. Some programming experience in analytical languages such as MATLAB, Python or R would be beneficial. A background in HPC-based computer modelling and/or statistics is desirable but not essential. Students with some prior research and / or work experience in the climatological / meteorological / hydrological sciences will be given priority.

This 3.5 year PhD comes with an UKRI fully-funded studentship, including fees, a generous stipend of £15,609 per annum, and a Research Training Support Grant of £1,500 per annum.

The studentship is due to commence 01 October 2021 but will remain open until filled. The studentship is open to all applicants. While international and EU students are welcome to apply, candidates must, however, be classified as a UK ‘home’ student to be eligible for UKRI funding. To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

The successful candidate’s supervision will be led by Dr Chris White at the University of Strathclyde in collaboration with A/Professor Daniela Domeisen from ETH Zürich and Dr Doug Bertram and Professor Stuart Galloway from the University of Strathclyde.

To apply, please see here: https://www.strath.ac.uk/studywithus/postgraduateresearch/

If you wish to discuss the opportunity before applying, please contact Dr Chris White: [Email Address Removed]

Subject areas include: Atmospheric Physics; Climatology & Climate Change; Meteorology; Hydrology; Environmental Engineering; Energy

 


Funding Notes

UKRI-funded PhD studentship, including fees, a generous stipend of £15,609 per annum, and a Research Training Support Grant of £1,500 per annum.

The studentship is due to commence 01 October 2021 but will remain open until filled. While international and EU students are welcome to apply, candidates must, however, be classified as a UK ‘home’ student to be eligible for UKRI funding. To be classed as such, candidates must meet the following criteria:
Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
Have settled status, or
Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
Have indefinite leave to remain or enter
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