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  PhD Studentship in Civil Engineering - Stresstest: Development of a stress testing platform to ensure resilient electricity networks.

   School of Engineering

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  Dr S Wilkinson  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Award summary

100% fees covered, and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £18,622 (2023/24 UKRI rate).


Storms Arwen demonstrated that we do not have sufficient resilience in our energy networks. This storm resulted in over 74,000 customers off supply for over 48 hours.    This situation is likely worsen, with state-of-the-art climate projections (UKCP18) suggesting extreme winds are likely to increase in the UK and windstorms such as Storm Arwen will become more frequent. 

This project will develop an energy network stress testing platform that incorporates asset databases, weather and weather impact information and climate projections so that electricity operators can perform climate resilience stress tests on their networks. The project will test the feasibility of producing such a platform by using machine learning to train models on a very large number of historical faults and weather observations, and then use these to test the resilience of energy assets using the latest UKCP18 climate projections. To understand how this affects society, the researcher will use demographic information to translate asset failures into societal consequences (e.g. households without power etc). Finally, they will use the framework and climate projections to assess how resilience degrades in a future climate if we do not reinforce our networks and to identify where reinforcement is most needed.

Number of awards


Start date

16th September 2024

Award duration

3.5 years

Application closing date

31st March 2024


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council – Doctoral Training Partnership EPSRC DTP

Name of supervisor/s

Dr Sean Wilkinson

Dr Hannah Bloomfield

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to gain, a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed PhD project (inc. engineering, computing and mathematics,). Enthusiasm for research, the ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential requirements.

Home and international applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply and if successful will receive a full studentship. Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme. 

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal 

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.  

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

·      search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8040F

·      Research Area: Structural Engineering 

·      select PhD Structural Engineering (full time) as the programme of study 

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Details’ section:  

·      a ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form  

·      the studentship code ENG129 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  

·      when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.  

In the ‘Supporting Documentation’ section please upload:

·      your CV 

Contact Details

Email [Email Address Removed]

Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)
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 About the Project