Friday, October 29, 2010

PhD Scholarship in Solar Radiation and Energy, Australia


An excellent PhD opportunity is available for a joint project with the Weather and Energy Research Unit at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University in the area of Solar Radiation and Energy.

The appointed PhD student will develop a solar radiation and energy forecasting system aimed at improving the way in which solar energy produced by a selection of energy devices is integrated into the electricity grid. Such a system may eventually be implemented operationally by bodies such as the Australian Energy Market Operator and/or solar power farms operators.

This work will involve analysing solar radiation output from Numerical Weather Prediction models by comparing it with historical observations in order to improve our understanding of the physical processes relevant to solar radiation. The forecasting system will then capitalize on this detailed analysis. Other areas of weather and climate science will benefit from this solar radiation analysis.

Key Capabilities

- An understanding of meteorology, especially of solar radiation processes, and effects of clouds and aerosols.
- Familiarity with at least one software language for data analysis (possibly R)
High level interpersonal skills suited to effective interaction with other members of the research team and industry contacts.
- Demonstrated high level of communication skills.
- Active support of the CSIRO code of conduct and HSE requirements.

Key Result Areas/Duties

- Analyse solar radiation data from observations (in situ and satellite) and model output for Australia with a possible extension to a wider region using a standard software program (e.g. R, IDL, Matlab).
- Investigate and improve our knowledge of solar radiation forecasts provided by Numerical Weather Prediction models.
- Investigate and improve our knowledge of the interaction between solar radiation and solar energy production for a selection of energy devices.
- Develop a solar energy forecasting system using a combination of Numerical Weather Prediction model output and historical data for a selection of energy devices.
Write and submit research papers, and a Ph.D. thesis


Scholarship applications close 30th November 2010, but the search may remain open until the position is filled. The selected PhD student will be awarded a research support budget of up to AUD 24,000 per annum.
"Applicants should submit a brief statement of practical and academic suitability for the proposed research topic, a current curriculum vitae, academic transcripts and contact details for two referees."

For enquiries on the scholarship please contact: Dr Alberto Troccoli on +61 2 6246 5759 (alberto.troccoli[at]

For enquiries on admission to the Fenner School please contact: Dr Janette Lindesay (janette.lindesay[at] or Dr Frank Mills (frank.mills[at]

If you experience difficulties applying online call 1300 301 509 for assistance. Outside business hours please email


Please kindly mention when applying for this scholarship

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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Vitom Chea Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator
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Scholarship Team: Ph.D Scholar Krisstofferson Joniel Scholarship Adviser, PhD Scholar Chea Vitom Scholarship Adviser and Senior Lecturer, PhD Scholar Rebecca T. Dalisay Scholarship Adviser, Ph.D Student Jiao Wang Scholarship Coordinator, MSc Student Dennise Maricel Scholarship Coordinator