PhD Positions in the Energy Resilience in the Built Environment Centre for Doctoral Training (ERBE CDT)

PhD Positions now available in the ERBE CDT – 4 year studentship of €18,500 stipend per annum + fees

Applications closing 19th February, 2021

The ‘Energy Resilience in the Built Environment’ (ERBE) CDT represents an exciting partnership between MaREI (Ireland), University College London (UK), and Loughborough University (UK)  that is funded through the SFI-EPSRC ‘Centres for Doctoral Training’ (CDT) Programme. The CDT will provide students with a deep understanding of buildings, low and zero carbon technologies and the socio-technical context.

The CDT promotes excellence in research through the training of cohorts of doctoral students and the fostering of collaboration between UK and ROI based researchers. ERBE will train innovative leaders with the necessary skills to transform the relationships between buildings and the energy system, providing sustainable, affordable, and healthy places to live and work.

We are currently seeking student applications to join our 2021 cohort of ERBE students.

What will I be studying?

You will participate in a four-year integrated programme of energy demand research in a whole energy system context. You will be registered in one of MaREI’s institutional partners and will be co-supervised by a UK-based investigator.

There are core modules which have been co-created with partners from across industry, government, and academia, and will cover topics such as energy policy and society, energy data and analysis, building modelling, physics of the built environment, and socio-technical theory and methods.

Key to the cohort experience of this PhD programme is the participation in an annual Block Week in Loughborough University; along with a Summer School, Colloquium and a student-led conference, along with participation in events and training specific to your own research.

The ERBE CDT PhD Programme will provide the knowledge, research and transferable skills to enable outstanding graduates from physics to social sciences to pursue research in one of three themes:

  1. Flexibility and resilience: the interaction between buildings, both domestic and non-domestic, and the whole energy system, through new generation, storage, and energy efficiency technology, enabled by smart control systems and new business models.
  2. Technology and system performance: demand reduction and decarbonisation of the built environment and its utilisation through design, construction methods, technological innovation, cyber-physical monitoring and control systems and regulation.
  3. Comfort, health and well-being: building, energy, and ICT systems that create productive and efficient work and operational environments and affordable, clean, safe homes.

Who Should Apply?

Key to the success of the ERBE CDT student cohort is the mix of academic and professional backgrounds of its students. Students from all backgrounds with an interest in the themes are encouraged to apply including: Social Science, Architecture, Data Analytics, Physics, Materials Science; Computer Science; Mathematics and Engineering.

Applications are welcomed from both EU & Non-EU students. For non-EU students, please be advised that there are English language requirements in place for each institution which must be adhered to.

How do I Apply?

There are 4 steps to the PhD Student Application.

  1. Complete an Online Application Form
  2. Complete a Ranking of Order of Preference of potential projects. Please rank your top 5 projects 1 – 5. In this ranking process, 1 is your most preferred project, and 5 is your least preferred. You can view the project proposals below. 
  3. Submit your CV – please ensure that your CV includes:
    1. Bachelor Degree Title & Specialisation
    2. Bachelor Thesis Title
    3. Masters Degree Title & Specialisation (if applicable)
    4. Masters Thesis Title (if applicable)
    5. Details of publications (if applicable)
    6. Research Experience (if applicable)
  4. Submit a Statement of Motivation (max 500 words) outlining your motivation for pursuing a PhD in the ERBE CDT & detailing the reasons for your preferred project choice, institution & supervisor.

If any of the above steps are not complied with, your application will not be considered.

The closing date for receipt of the completed Application Form, CV & Motivation Statement is 5.00 p.m. Friday 19th February, 2021 (GMT). Interviews will be held in the following weeks with the studentship commencing in September 2021. 

For any informal queries, please email

ERBE Project Proposals - Outline

In the online Application Form, you are asked to complete a Ranking of Order of Preference of potential projects. Please rank your top 5 projects 1 – 5. In this ranking process, 1 is your most preferred project, and 5 is your least preferred.

Train-to-HPB: Optimal Pedagogical Approaches to Educating Designers and Contractors to Deliver Affordable High-Performance Buildings

(Prof Jamie Goggins, NUIG)
Multi criteria optimisation of demand-controlled ventilation for safe and energy efficient indoor environments in industrial buildings

(Dr. Paul O’Sullivan MTU & Dr. Ken Bruton, UCC)
RHPG: An Investigation into the Renewable Heat Performance Gap in Energy Efficient Residential Buildings

(Dr. Paul O’Sullivan, MTU)
Developing an energy model of the Irish dwelling stock to inform Ireland’s Residential Renovation Strategy

(Dr. Ciara Ahern & Prof Brian Norton, TUD & Prof Brian Ó Gallachóir, UCC)
Optimal demand side management of domestic water heating using highly efficient solar heat energy collection and storage

(Professor Brian Norton, TUD & IERC Tyndall Institute)
Standards-based Modelling, Simulation and Measurement Framework to Support Environmental Design and Operational Decision Making in a Multinational Medical Devices Manufacturing Company

(Dr. Marcus Keane, NUIG)
Sustainable & Healthy Buildings: Optimising Indoor Environmental Quality and Building Energy Efficiency in a post COVID-19 era through Indoor Sensing and Digital Twin Capabilities

(Dr. Marguerite Nyhan & Dr. Michael O’Shea, UCC)
Towards Greener Data Centres in Ireland: Enhancing Cooling and Energy Infrastructure to Decarbonise their Electricity Demand

(Dr. Sajad Alimohammadi, TUD)
Energy Cloud: Diverting free clean otherwise wasted renewable energy to households who need it most through innovation, research and social inclusion

(Dr. Ciara Ahern & Dr. Ronan Oliver, TUD)
Switchable Windows for Indoor Thermal and lighting Comfort, Health, Energy-efficiency and Safety (SWITCHES)

(Dr. Philippe Lemarchand & Prof John Cassidy, TUD)
Development of robust sensors for smart construction processes to enable energy efficient infrastructure

(Dr. Maeve Duffy, Dr. Magdalena Hajdukiewicz – NUIG)
Energy and resource implications of 3D printing in industry

(Dr. Dominic O’Sullivan & Dr. Ken Bruton, UCC)
Develop a statistical/machine learning method to improve performance building energy simulation tools

(Prof. Jamie Goggins, NUIG)
The interrelationships between the operational energy demand practices the internal environmental conditions in buildings, the people occupying the buildings and the materials and technology used in the retrofit of buildings

(Prof. Jamie Goggins, NUIG)
DRONES-ASSESS: Disruptive Remote-controlled drOnes with Embarked Sensors to Assess Building Performances against Building Regulations Test Protocols and Standards

(Dr. Philippe Lemarchand TUD & Dr. Gerard Dooley, UL)
Smart facades for cost effective rapid retrofitting of existing buildings

(Prof. Jamie Goggins, NUIG)
Intelligent Energy Efficient Solar Assisted HVAC system Cleaning Air for Health and Indoor Comfort (iCleanAir)

(Dr. Philippe Lemarchand TUD & Prof Brian Norton, TUD & Tyndall Institute)