6 PhD Studentships – CEEES Research Group

  • 3 x PhD Studentships on Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) funded CABBBIE (Developing cascading biomethane biochemicals and biofertiliser systems for a circular bioeconomy in Ireland) research project
  • 2 x PhD Studentships on Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) funded SHIPFUEL-IE (Developing pathways for a sustainable shipping and maritime fuel value chain in Ireland) research project
  • 1 x PhD Studentship on MCDA (multi-criteria decision analysis)


The successful PhD will be based in the MaREI Centre for energy, climate and marine headquartered in the Environmental Research Institute in University College Cork.  MaREI is a key research centre within UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI), which is an internationally recognised Institute for environmental research dedicated to the understanding and protection of our natural environment and to developing innovative technologies, tools and services to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon and resource efficient society. The MaREI Centre is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research centre and includes 13 other Universities and Third Level Institutes from across Ireland, has 50 industrial partners and has accumulated research funding of over €60m. It combines the expertise of a wide range of research groups and industry partners, with the shared mission of solving the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the climate, energy and marine spaces.  MaREI is also funded by SEAI, EI, EPA, ERDF, EU, HEA, Marine Institute, DCCAE and IRC, as well as through contributions from our industry partners. Researchers in the MaREI Centre have over 30 years of experience in conducting fundamental and applied research supported by competitively won national and international funding, and commercial contracts with government agencies and industry. MaREI’s strengths lie in the multi-disciplinary nature of its research teams, allowing it to combine insights across areas such as MRE Technologies, Materials & Structures, Observations & Operations, Coastal & Marine Systems, Bioenergy, Energy Policy & Modelling and Renewable Energy Management.

Circular Economy Energy and Environmental Systems (CEEES) Research Group

MaREI’s Circular Economy Energy and Environmental Systems (CEEES) Research Group focuses on renewable advanced fuel production in circular economy systems and consists of about 20 researchers. The breadth of the work includes for analysis of systems from ocean (offshore wind and seaweed) to conversion (hydrogen, electro-fuels, gaseous and liquid biofuels) to end use (industry, transport fuel).

Detailed laboratory work includes for production of biohydrogen and biomethane from 2nd generation biofuel substrates such as wastes, agricultural residues and lignocellulosic energy crops, and 3rd generation biofuel substrates such as macro-algae (seaweed) and micro-algae. Research covers biological and thermochemical bioenergy pathways. The group investigates a range of digestion applications at lab scale including for innovative technologies such as Power to Gas, demand driven biogas and novel biogas upgrading technologies. Fundamental and applied aspects of biomass gasification, pyrolysis, torrefaction, combustion and methanation are also investigated. Work includes for desktop analyses such as chemical kinetic modelling, process simulation, geographic specific bioresources, Life Cycle Analysis, sustainability analyses and techno-economic studies. The research facilitates the development of roadmaps, which describe how Ireland can initiate a green gas industry, which would contribute to mandatory renewable energy targets for renewable heat and transport fuel.

The CEEES research group is led by Dr Archishman Bose (Eli Lilly Lecturer at Process and Chemical Engineering), Dr Richard O’Shea (Lecturer in Decarbonisation of Industry), Dr David Wall (Lecturer in Transportation) and Prof Jerry D Murphy (Director of the SFI MaREI Centre and Chair of Civil Engineering).


Developing cascading biomethane biochemicals and biofertiliser systems for a circular bioeconomy in Ireland (CABBBIE) is funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) under the National Energy Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme.

The CABBIE project will investigate how to advance cascading algal biomethane biorefinery systems (CABBS) towards commercialisation for an adaptive, flexible, and secure bioeconomy. The proposed process, by co-producing food, fuel, fertiliser and/or chemicals would allow establishment of a circular bioeconomy, which is critical to decarbonise the economy and achieve energy and material security. However, CABBS is a nascent technology and significant research is required to optimise and commercialise the process. Thus, this project will conduct research on the following four pillars:

  1. Study the detailed performance and scale-up of the biogas upgrading process utilising microalgae
  2. Select and investigate microalgae biorefinery of appropriate microalgae species specifically suitable for the Irish climate
  3. Perform multi-criteria decision analyses on environmental and socio-economic performances to select optimal process configurations and co-products of CABBS
  4. Establish business models, policy requirements and roadmaps to enable replication of CABBS across territorial contexts in Ireland


Developing pathways for a sustainable shipping and maritime fuel value chain in Ireland (SHIPFUEL-IE) is funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) under the National Energy Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme.

The ShipFuel-IE project will assess a range of potential energy carriers (hydrogen, ammonia, methane, methanol, renewable diesels) produced either from biomass or renewable electricity as fuels for the shipping sector coupled with the infrastructural requirements of Irish ports needed to deliver such low-carbon fuels and vessel technologies (internal combustion engine or fuel cell). ShipFuel-IE will include for stakeholder engagement from across the Irish maritime sector. This will be achieved through three technical work packages, assessing the socio-techno-economic and environmental impact of: 1. Fuel production routes; 2. Refuelling infrastructure required at Irish ports; 3. Vessel technology including the option of retrofitting existing vessels. A fourth work task will utilise multi-criteria decision analysis to highlight promising pathways for the development of a low-carbon shipping sector in Ireland.

Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA)

There is rarely one definitive correct answer to multi-variable problem sets, which are often found in decarbonisation pathways. Pathways that have the lowest carbon footprint, may result in poorer air quality and may be more expensive as compared to other decarbonisation pathways. Comparison and ranking of alternative pathways when considering multiple criteria of potentially differing importance (criteria weights) can be aided through Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). The use of MCDA has grown as complex issues and problems must be assessed from multiple perspectives. MCDA encompasses a variety of methods to aid in the selection of the best alternative from a list of options based on performance with regards to relevant criteria.


  • First-class honours degree (or equivalent) in civil, environmental, energy, mechanical, and/or chemical engineering; candidates from other disciplines such as mathematics, social science and business may also be considered if it can be shown is relevant to the topic (such as research pillars 3 and 4 of project CABBBIE)
  • Capability of working within a project team to achieve results.
  • Good communication, organisation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency (e.g. IELTS minimum 6.5, individual sections 6.0), please check the requirements at: https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/

To Apply

Please send

(1) your C.V. and

(2) 1,000 word perspective on one of the three topic areas above

by email to archishman.bose@ucc.ie.  

Please use the subject line “PROJECT_NAME PhD Application (applicant first and last name)”.

Where PROJECT_NAME is one of

  • MCDA

The deadline for applications is the 14th April 2023.

Funding details: a stipend of €18,500 per annum. Fees are covered by the grant.

For informal enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name Dr Archishman Bose Dr Richard O Shea Prof Jerry d Murphy
Email ei.ccu@esob.namhsihcra ei.ccu@aehso.drahcir ei.ccu@yhprum.yrrej

The deadline for applications is the 14th April 2023.

More information is available here.