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Optimisation of decarbonised local energy system under uncertainty

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Prof Jhuma Sadhukhan  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project aims to develop 1) a better understanding of the nature of climate change and other socio-economic uncertainties that are likely to affect the decarbonisation of energy systems and 2) analytical insights for system optimisation considering the influence of such uncertainties.


School of Sustainability, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Centre for Environment & Sustainability, the School of Sustainability, Civil and Environmental Engineering, at the University of Surrey. The successful candidate will be working on a multidisciplinary topic.

Net-zero carbon energy systems are needed for the provision of affordable clean energy to mitigate climate impact mitigation. However, designing, planning and operating these systems are challenging because of uncertainties with climate and macroeconomic parameters. The changing climate introduces uncertainties in the natural system and the zero-carbon energy systems will be affected as a result. For example, the wind pattern or precipitation pattern is likely to change as the climate changes. The frequency of extreme events is likely to change and these events are likely to make the energy system more vulnerable. Similarly, the transition to a zero-carbon future happens in a changing world where economic, social and political contexts will evolve and affect the energy system performance.

This significant research involves interdisciplinary modelling innovations in climatology, macroeconomics and local or city-scale energy systems. It employs stochastic optimisation under uncertainty to minimise vulnerabilities or maximise the resilience of zero-carbon energy systems.

The project’s main outcome will include an assessment of the vulnerabilities of decarbonised energy systems due to climate and other uncertainties; an evaluation of the impact of such vulnerabilities on the city-scale energy system optimisation; and identification of possible mitigation measures.

The applicant will gain experience in:

  • Climatology or modelling of climate changes, such as changes in solar radiation, wind speed and precipitation in temporal and spatial scales over a certain geographic location, e.g., UK, to analyse their impacts on de-fossilised renewable local energy systems.
  • Macroeconomic parametric analyses considering supply chains and temporal scales (lifecycles) to capture their interactions with de-fossilised renewable local energy systems.
  • Energy system modelling considering climatic and macroeconomic constraints as above.
  • Development of energy systems stochastic optimisation model under uncertainty.

In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to Tier 1 journals and present their findings at major international conferences. 

Candidate Profile

Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level in Engineering or a similar relevant science discipline.

How to Apply

Applications should be submitted via the Environment and Sustainability PhD programme page, but please note the closing date for this studentship is Friday 6th January 2023.  In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the projects (up to 2) that you wish to apply for and the name(s) of the relevant supervisor. You must upload your full CV and any transcripts of previous academic qualifications. You should enter ’Faculty Funded Competition’ under funding type.


The studentship will provide a stipend at UKRI rates (currently £17,668 for 2022/23) and tuition fees for 3.5 years. An additional bursary of £1700 per annum for the duration of the studentship will be offered to exceptional candidates.

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