Fully Funded Engineering Doctorate (EngD) Research Studentship Opportunity

Project Title: “Socio-Technical Analysis of Decentralised Energy Systems”

Based in the London Borough of Brent’s iconic new BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ Civic Centre, declared the most sustainable public building in the UK.

Closing Date for Applications:  Friday 13th December  2013

Decentralised energy systems (DES) constitute a mix of smaller scale power and heat generation, energy storage and other interventions to enable better demand and supply control. DES remains a largely untapped resource in terms of (i) the deployment of large –scale energy management systems; and (ii) the provision of resilient and ‘future-proofed’ low carbon and competitive energy systems. This project will reflect on DES integration for 5 designated ‘growth areas’ within the London Borough of Brent, where the establishment and operation of decentralised energy is likely be a core feature of the type of sustainable energy solution that the Council seeks to implement.

As the Research Engineer you will draw on predominantly qualitative techniques in order to achieve the central objectives of the work programme. These are likely to include in-depth and semi-structured interviews as well as workshops and focus groups. The process of understanding policy and carrying out comparative case work will necessarily involve a substantial amount of desk-based inquiry and document analysis. Some quantitative work will also be required in relation to benchmarking and assessing the energy and carbon savings associated with new properties in the urban regeneration projects being undertaken by the Council, as well as sourcing other potential datasets for setting the context for the research.

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Your work will be supported by the TSBE Centre within the University of Reading, a dynamic and well-funded, EPSRC doctoral training centre that drives collaborative research within technologies for the sustainable built environment and supports over 40 Research Engineers to become the thought leaders of the future. We are seeking ambitious, enthusiastic individuals who are self-motivated and will work well within a small team. Successful candidates will also be capable of engaging effectively with wider colleagues, business partners and clients. Applicants should have (a) a background or strong interest in qualitative methods and techniques and (b) further experience in at least two of the following areas: (i) energy systems; (ii) property and/or construction; and (iii) sustainability/sustainable development. To qualify academically, candidates must possess a good relevant first degree (2:1 or higher) or MSc in a related area. 

The research will be supervised within the School of Construction Management and Engineering by Professor Tim Dixon, Chair in Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment and Dr Michael Peters, Lecturer in Energy Policy.

4 Year Package

  • Stipend of £20,000p.a (typically tax-free)
  • All tuition fees are included
  • Expenses package included
  • EngD awarded by the University of Reading


Please note there are eligibility requirements, for more details refer to the EPSRC web site



Applications should be made online through our website at:


You also need to submit a full CV and Personal Statement to tsbe@reading.ac.uk

Vacancy Reference No: P40-2013

Interviews date TBC for a proposed start 14th January or ASAP thereafter

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