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PhD Studentship: Energy Modeling of the Future Building Stock

   UCD Energy Institute

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  Dr James O’Donnell  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project Context:

The decarbonisation of the Energy System will play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the impacts of Climate Change. The technical and societal challenges inherent in decarbonisation are set to be enduring challenges of the mid-21st century and ones that will require a whole of society approach, encompassing academia, industry, government, and citizens.

NexSys is a newly established All Island of Ireland Science Foundation of Ireland Strategic Partnership Programme focussed upon the transition to a net zero carbon energy system. It is a unique partnership bringing together a multidisciplinary research team, industry, and policy makers to tackle fundamental research questions to be addressed as part of the transition to net Zero. Hosted by UCD Energy Institute, NexSys brings together academics from nine institutions across the Island of Ireland (UCD, TCD, DCU, ESRI, Maynooth University, UCC, NUI Galway, Ulster University and the Queen's University of Belfast) to work together to meet the unprecedented scale and complexity of the challenges associated with the energy transition.

The focus of this PhD is to model energy renovation strategies over multiple geographical scales (single buildings to district level to national scale) using appropriate energy modelling techniques i.e., white box, grey box and black box solutions. This will enable the creation of statistical multi-scale representations of the building stock and connected energy systems. Such modelling will allow for a novel and comprehensive assessment of future energy policy and its direct and indirect impacts on the macro economy and society. Climate and energy policy scenarios can be modelled to show the impacts of future technology adoption of households, resulting energy performance, and whether the same policies can drive a post-Covid green economic recovery. 

The research will be carried out under the auspices of the SFI funded NexSys project and it will be carried out in collaboration with the Energy Institute at University College Dublin (energyinstitute.ucd.ie). The successful candidate will register for a PhD programme at University College Dublin under the supervision of Associate Prof. James O'Donnell and will be in collaboration with Prof. Lisa Ryan, University College Dublin Dr. Muireann Lynch and Kelly de Bruin (ESRI). A stipend of 18,500 euro will be payable for four years, plus PhD registration fees.

Ideal candidates for these positions will be highly motivated, numerate students with an excellent academic track record and willingness to work in a dynamic and interdisciplinary research environment. This project will involve interacting with teams from across the NexSys project.

The primary purpose of the role is:

·       Conducting research in pursuit of a body of study. 

·       As part of this body of research, carrying out tasks aligned with the NexSys project. 

·       To develop your research skills and competences, including the processes of publication in peer-reviewed academic publications. 

·       Plan, coordinate and implement research in line with the NexSys project research objectives.

·       Liaise across the project consortium and analyze research findings and prepare progress reports on research for funding body.

·       Engage with the various stakeholders and work package leaders and contributors involved in NexSys.

Required Skills / Qualifications/ Aptitudes:

·       Bachelors or Masters degree (2.1 grade or higher) in Architecture, Engineering (Civil/Structural, Environmental, Mechanical, Electrical/Electronic), Mathematics or Computer Science

·       Knowledge of Building Physics and Thermodynamics

·       Energy modelling of buildings using tools such as EnergyPlus, IES VE, TRNSYS, Modelica or similar

·       Computer programming knowledge and experience (Python, R)

Desirable Skills / Qualifications/ Aptitudes:

·       Experience of optimisation and data analytics

·       A record of research, as evidenced by past and recent publications in top ranking journals and contributions to international refereed conferences

·       Experience of implementing a research project

·       Attention to detail and strong organisational skills

·       Awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.

Specific Requirements:

●      Research skills, both qualitative and quantitative.

●      Analytical and critical evaluation skills.

●      Excellent English communication skills, in particular, writing and presentation skills.

●      Attention to detail and strong organisational skills.

●      Ability to manage a complex workload and work to tight deadlines.

●      Excellent interpersonal skills.

●      Experience working closely with a wide range of stakeholders and in maintaining their engagement throughout the project


The scholarship will be awarded for a maximum period of 4 years

Funding will cover the following elements:

●      A stipend of €18,500 per annum

●      Travel/Consumables/Materials budget

●      Tuition fees

 Application Process:

Please email [Email Address Removed]

·       A cover letter and 

·       A Curriculum Vitae

   Closing date for receipt of applications is 26/06/2022


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