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PhD Studentship (3 years) Dual Hydrogen Refuelling/Electric Charging Station (DHREC) Fuelled by Biofuels: A Smart Energy System for Net-Zero Targets


   College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr Amir Amiri, Dr Jose Ricardo Sodre, Prof R Steinberger-Wilckens, Dr Z Wu  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a three-year Postgraduate studentship, supported by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, to be undertaken within the EBRI Research Group at Aston University. This project is part of an internal competition.

 The position is available to start in either October 2022 or January or April or July 2023, subject to negotiation.

Financial Support

 Engineering and Physical Sciences College DTP PhD studentships are fully funded for 3 years. They include a maintenance allowance based on UKRI minimum and Home tuition fees (subject to eligibility). The figures for 2022/23 are yet to be confirmed. For reference, in the 2021/22 academic year, the maintenance allowance was £15,609 and the Home tuition fees were £4,500.

 Overseas applicants may apply but will need to cover the difference between the ‘Home’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees. The difference between ‘Home’ and ‘Overseas’ tuition fees for 2022/23 is yet to be confirmed. In the 2021/22 academic year, the difference was £13,100.

 As part of the application, you will be required to confirm that you have applied for, or secured, this additional funding.

 Full details of eligibility can be found here. Further guidance on UKRI Eligibility Criteria can be found on the UKRI website.

Project Background

The objective of this project is to support the design of the next generation of smart fuel stations minimising the electricity grid dependency while maintaining the UK’s 284,000 km gas grid infrastructure for a key role in the hydrogen economy. To this end, it will design and techno-economically prove an electricity grid-independent dual H2 refuelling/electric charging station (DHRECS) system. We will develop a model for the system and its balance-of-plant to demonstrate its efficiency, carbon footprint and fuel flexibility. In the proposed DHRECS system, both electricity and hydrogen will be produced on-site. High quality heat will be achieved and non-fossil CO2 will be separated through a technically simple and economically efficient process. As a PhD candidate, you will work closely with the Energy and Bioproducts Research institute (EBRI) of Aston University and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell research centre at the University of Birmingham. All of these provide you with a unique opportunity for training and research in very new and highly demanded research fields including clean fuels, decarbonisation, hydrogen, and fuel cell technologies. This PhD will equip you with the applied skills to deploy theoretical and practical tools for developing next generation clean technologies to save the environment while supporting the economy growth. 

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in Chemical/Mechanical Engineering. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience relevant to process computing and lab research as well as biofuels and fuel cell knowledge.

We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EPS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

Contact information

For formal enquiries about this project contact

Submitting an application

 

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here. Once you have contacted a supervisor, please follow the instructions on How to Apply to submit an application.

Please include the supervisor name, project title, and project reference in your Personal Statement.

For further information about the application process please contact

What happens next

Applications received by 31st January will be referred by Graduate School PGR Admissions to the potential Supervisors. Potential candidate interviews will be either in-person or online. Interviewed applicants will be informed of the outcomes by April 2022.

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