Studentship – DYNAMIC

DYNAMIC – Applying dynamic simulation Modelling to dwellIng archetypes to reflect energy use and emissions at stock level

Supervisor: Ciara Ahern

Award Level: Masters

Mode of Study: Full Time

Funding Details: Funded

Deadline to Submit Applications: 23/06/2023

Project Description

The all-encompassing disaggregated thermophysical input data required to effectively inform residential stock energy consumption models make them computationally intensive. Since it has been impractical to model every single building, a set of Reference Dwellings (RDs) representative of typical national or regional dwellings are used. RDs are used to produce overall energy saving extrapolations consistent with those produced if the detailed characteristics of the overall building stock were used. Use of dynamic simulation programmes to model RDs facilitates, through first using the dynamic models created for use at RD or end-use level, and then aggregating upwards, researchers and policymakers to observe, analyse and resolve energy use and environmental performance, at national level, with greater ease.

The development of RDs has been a major challenge. Standardised RD’s exclude typologies with non-standard characteristics, many of which are defined as ‘Hard-to-Decarbonise’ (HtD). As the models, and hence policy neglect non-standard dwellings they are increasingly being left behind the renovation wave. Importantly, this project will combine the Irish EPC database with other social indicators as POBAL, social deprivation index etc. to create a socio-technical dataset and hence uses next generation big-data techniques to create nuanced, relevant and contemporaneous RD’s representative of the housing stock.

This researcher will micro-model these next generation RDs using dynamic simulation software facilitating;
i) identification of sensitive parameters important to overall performance and hence quantification and hence mitigation of energy performance gaps at both at building and at system level,
ii) through changing parameters, forecasting the consequences of specific occupancy and in-use scenarios to create a stochastic occupancy profiles for residential dwellings,
iii) preparation of substantive arguments for insight-driven targeted climate policies for the sector,
iv) through aggregating the RDs upwards to create a national residential energy and emission stock model.

Student Requirements for this Project

Student will ideally have a strong competency in dynamic simulation modelling along will have a 2.1 hons or higher in Building Engineering, Building Services Engineering, Architectural Engineering, Architecture or Mechanical Engineering. An ability to script in Python or similar is desirable but not essential. For a well-performing student there is an option to convert this MPhil to a PhD noting that it will be the candidates responsibility, with the support of the research team, to apply for said funding.

Funding Details


Student Stipend per annum €18,500

Materials & Travel Budget per annum € 700

Fees covered by the funding per annum €5,500

Duration of Funding 48 months

If you are interested in submitting an application for this project, please complete an Expression of Interest.