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The future of refugee shelter design

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  • Full or part time
    Prof David Coley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

There are 65 million refugees in the world—22 million in camps—and many hundreds of millions living in townships and other slums. The vast majority of these people live in self-built accommodation. Our temperature and other measurements in refugee camps have shown that conditions are extremely severe, and give rise to reduced life expectancy, especially for the new born or old. We have also shown that the introduction of some simple but better performing materials, such as insulated roofing, or better building techniques can transform these homes. One of the key questions that arise from this existing research is how to get such materials and knowledge into the construction chain?

This PhD project will start by looking which materials and techniques have the greatest impact on the thermal environment and how much impact they might have – this will be addressed by thermal modelling. Secondly, it will try and discover the best ways of getting them into the supply chain.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Prof David Coley ([Email Address Removed])


Successful applicants will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or equivalent). Any English language requirements must be met at the deadline for applications. Applicants should have an interest in the topic and good numeric skills, preferably with knowledge of thermal modelling or programming. A background in physics, engineering or architecture would be best. If you are an overseas applicant, please see the note about funding below.


Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019 but applications will also be reviewed for 20 January 2020 start.

Funding Notes

Funding will be for a McIntyre PhD Scholarship in Healthy Housing. The award will provide full UK/EU tuition fees, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000 p.a. and a tax-free maintenance payment of £15,009 (2019-20 rate) for up to 3 & half years. Overseas applicants are able to apply but would need to confirm the ability to fund the difference between UK/EU and Overseas tuition fees, see

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.38

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

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