University of Nottingham – Laboratory of Urban Complexity and Sustainability (LUCAS)
The Laboratory of Urban Complexity and Sustainability (LUCAS), (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/lucas/index.aspx) is seeking to appoint a PhD studentship in Urban Social Simulation, as an important part of a large Leverhulme Research Programme Grant “Sustaining Urban Habitats: An Interdisciplinary Approach”.
The objectives of this grant are to: develop a rigorous and measureable definition of city sustainability, so that we can evaluate how sustainable cities are right now; to develop a new integrated multiscale urban modelling platform so that we can test strategies for improving upon cities’ sustainability in the future; to support cities in defining the policy and governance structures necessary to achieve the transition towards their more sustainable and liveable futures.
This Studentship will play a pivotal role in the development of an integrated simulation model of the complex socioeconomic systems that are our cities. This task requires that we are able to evaluate the social, economic and environmental sustainability of cities from the present through to our target future date of 2050. With respect to environmental sustainability this is relatively straightforward, involving the evaluation of energy and material flows through cities. But evaluating social and economic sustainability is more complex, and is likely to involve the aggregation of individual agents’ perceptions.
Our task of simulating cities’ evolutions also requires that our agents, whether these are individuals, households or firms, are able to respond to social, economic, regulatory and technological stimuli that influence their behaviours. These might relate to agents’ routine behaviours, such as daily consumption, travel or energy using practices. They might also relate to agents’ decisions to invest in a more sustainable transport mode, home or community energy technology.
Working closely with other members (PhD students, Research Fellows and Professors) of the interdisciplinary LUCAS team of social, economic, physical and computer scientists you will focus on the development and application of this urban social simulation capability – to help us identify policies and strategies that will maximize the sustainability of our synthetic societies.
The preferred candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree and / or a distinction or high merit at MSc level in a relevant subject area (e.g. computer science, quantitative social science, physics, mathematics, engineering or a cognate discipline). Some knowledge of social modelling and simulation and good object-oriented programming (e.g. Java or C++) skills are required.
Good communication skills, and the ability to work as part of a team as well as independently are essential. A willingness to travel within Europe and to China is desirable.
The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU students, due to funding restrictions, plus a tax free stipend for three years of £14,296 per annum.
Informal enquiries prior to making an application may be addressed to Dr. Peer-Olaf Siebers ([email protected]
), Prof. Paul Nathanail ([email protected]
) or to Prof. Darren Robinson, ([email protected]
). To apply, please email a covering letter stating why you wish to apply for and how you fulfil the requirements of this studentship. Please also provide a full CV, a transcript of your academic record and the names and addresses of two referees (in PDF format) to Clair Morton ([email protected]