November 2014
Message 35

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[Met-jobs] PhD studentship (Reading & NPL)

From Valerie Livina <>
Date Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:56:40 +0000

EPSRC iCASE Studentship with NPL: Modelling Carbon Emissions Uncertainty for Local Power Generation and Energy Saving

Location: Reading

Salary: £18,500 stipend + fees

Starting: no later than 31st March 2015

Closing date: 28th November 2014

Department: School of Construction Management and Engineering

Project Overview:   

University of Reading energy system researchers are working with leading experts in measurement uncertainty and mathematical modelling from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). This project seeks to increase our understanding of the uncertainty in carbon savings that will result from electricity related investments in the built environment, whether local generation, such as solar or wind energy, or energy reduction, such as building retrofit. Allocated carbon savings are heavily dependent on establishing the reduction (or increase) in carbon emissions from the electricity grid that would arise from any such project. If output from a local solar installation increases, it is challenging to be sure which power station is adjusted down accordingly. This uncertainty is further exacerbated by the rapidly growing penetration of weather-dependent renewable generation at national level, especially wind generation.

The successful candidate will join a dynamic group of researchers investigating cutting-edge energy challenges, within the Schools of Construction Management and Engineering (Lead – Dr Phil Coker) and Systems Engineering (Dr Ben Potter).


The project will explore the uncertainty associated with electricity grid carbon emissions and develop guidelines to improve carbon saving assessment in the future. Power system modelling tools will be applied to establish how whole system carbon emissions are influenced by marginal changes in electricity demand or low carbon generation and to reflect the uncertainty in estimates of the instantaneous output from existing renewable generation. Modelling at transmission system level will complement existing expertise with distribution network analysis.


Eligibility:   Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level in a numerate discipline, with ideally a relevant MSc qualification. Experience of computer simulation tools and knowledge of power system principles are desirable. Excellent organisational and communication skills are required. A keen interest to engage in industry focussed research is essential. 

Please note that due to restrictions on the funding, this studentship is for UK/EU applicants only.

Funding Details:   The package of funding combines an EPSRC Industrial CASE studentship with a contribution from NPL to cover tuition fees, the enhanced stipend and provide a generous annual allowance for consumables, equipment and travel.  It is a requirement that a total of 6 months of the 3.5 year project will be spent with NPL, based in Teddington.

How to apply:   Further details about this studentship can be obtained from Dr Phil Coker - email:

To apply, see You should access the application form and submit a completed form for a PhD in Construction Management and Engineering here.

When completing the application form, please write ‘SCME iCASE Studentship – Coker’ in the text box in ‘Section 10 - Funding’. You should also attach a summary, in no more than 1000 words, indicating your understanding of the challenges that variable renewables are bringing for power systems and the implications for electricity system carbon reduction.

For full details, see:




Dr Valerie Livina

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