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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Passive cooling in cities: a multi-scale modelling approach

Project Description

Passive cooling (e.g. Natural ventilation) is regarded as an important building technology to reduce energy consumption, overheating risk and promote sustainability in the built environment. However, passive cooling potential is highly restricted and influenced by outdoor climate at both meso- and urban-scale. For example, natural ventilation potential is predominately restricted in an urban area (e.g. London) by reduced wind speeds, elevated air temperature and air pollution within it. An accurate estimation of passive cooling potential in an urban area could assist climate-responsive architectural design during the conceptual design stage, for the purpose of minimizing carbon emissions and the delivery of healthy and comfortable living environment. In this PhD project, based on our previous work, we will develop an integrated building-urban thermal modeling tool to estimate the passive cooling potential in the cities, and in return, how those different passive cooling technologies (e.g., natural ventilation, thermal mass, reflective material) could impact on urban climate.
This fully funded PhD combines the fields of architectural environmental engineering and urban meteorology. It will continue the strong collaboration between School of the Built Environment (SBE) and Department of Meteorology (DoM) at the University of Reading. SBE was ranked 6th by research power in the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning Unit of assessment, and DoM was ranked 3rd by research power in the Earth and Environment Sciences sub-panel in REF2014 in the UK.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Zhiwen(Vincent) Luo at

Funding Notes

• Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree or MSc Degree equivalent in engineering (e.g., mechanical engineering, architectural engineering, building physics), physics, or meteorology, urban climate, with strong knowledge in heat transfer and fluid mechanics.
• The students should demonstrate strong programming skills using MATLAB, Python or other languages.
• Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students. International students may apply but must confirm that they are able to pay the difference between the home and international fee rate (approx. £15,000pa) themselves.


Please quote GS19-104 under the studentship funding section of your application

How good is research at University of Reading in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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