Friday, August 26, 2011

Fully funded PhD Studentship at UCL Energy Institute, UK


The UCL Energy Institute ( and the Department of Mechanical Engineering ( are collaborating with BMT Group Ltd, a company at the forefront of energy monitoring and marine engineering, to provide an exciting studentship opportunity associated with the energy mapping and energy efficiency of cruise ships.

All three partners are already working together in a broader study of the global shipping industry (the RC UK project Low Carbon Shipping – A Systems Approach). The successful PhD candidate will join large and productive research groups working on a variety of front-line issues related to energy and the environment – including the UCL Energy Institute’s EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand – as well as spending time with the industry partner BMT Group Ltd.

About the UCL Energy Institute

The UCL Energy Institute was established as UCL’s response to the global challenges of mitigating climate change and providing energy security in the 21st century, as well as to support the UCL Grand Challenges. UCL has a substantial track record of energy research and world-leading competencies in a wide range of disciplines; the mission of the UCL Energy Institute is to build on this foundation by coordinating and stimulating research on energy and carbon emissions reductions across the university. The Institute helps build multidisciplinary teams and supports academics in applying their skills to the energy problem. For more information about our research and our people see our website

Studentship Description

Both globally and regionally, pressure is mounting on the harmful emissions from international shipping, including the cruise vessel industry. Additional to this pressure is an ongoing ambition to keep costs down by striving for high vessel energy efficiency and consequently low fuel use.

Attention has so far focused on propulsion system’s energy efficiency. However, for a cruise ship, the ‘hotel load’ or power consumption associated with providing onboard comfort and entertainment can also be a significant proportion of total energy demand. This research proposal will combine analysis of a vessel’s hotel load (from measured data) with modelling techniques applied previously to assess energy demands of buildings, to seek substantial gains in energy efficiency that can then be deployed to ensure that the sector reduces its environmental impact and provides opportunities for the sector’s continued and sustainable growth.

The management of energy consumption of modern cruise ships is becoming increasingly complex. Energy onboard is used to supply propulsion, engine auxiliaries, air conditioning, accommodation services, water production, safety systems, lighting and galley operations. This research will develop an energy mapping model to explore sensitivities of key ship design and operation parameters on energy consumption and demand trends. Using the understanding gained from the model, the work will then consider how vessel design and operation can be optimised to ensure energy efficiency and environmental impact reduction.

Measurement, monitoring and reporting energy efficiency have become adopted as the key initial stages of projects in the built environment that seek to make improvements in energy efficiency. So there is an immediate application of the work in industry to help understand where the greatest energy demands are on a cruise vessel and what the options are to make changes that can reduce these energy demands.

In the medium term, the tools and knowledge that are developed in this project, can be developed into products that can be exploited through the existing market penetration of BMT Group ltd, which provide guidance on how to reduce a cruise ship’s energy consumption in operation. This creates both a commercial opportunity and also has the potential of creating a global environmental impact. With cruise shipping’s annual CO2 emission greater than 20 million tonnes, there is scope for a significant reduction in anthropogenic carbon emissions.

StipendApprox £15,590 + UK/EU fees

Person Specification

Applicants should have a UK 1st Class or 2.1 Honour’s first degree in a relevant field, such as physics, mechanical engineering, marine engineering, electrical engineering, building services or architecture.

They must be able to demonstrate interdisciplinary interests, a capability and willingness to engage with computer modelling through programming and/or application of software, practical skills and entrepreneurial flair.


UCL Impact studentships may be used to support UK and EU nationals only.

Contact name
Alison Parker
UCL Taking Action for Equality
Closing Date
31 Aug 2011
Latest time for the submission of applications
Studentship Start Date
from September 2011

Please quote on your application 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