UCL Energy Institute


PhD Studentship in Shipping/Transport Analysis

26 February 2016


The UCL Energy Institute invites applications for a fully funded (UK/EU fees plus stipend) 3 year PhD studentship jointly funded by the Carbon War Room under the Impact Award.

•    Title: In-service estimation of benefits from retrofit technology – data and models to evidence performance claims
•    Supervisors: Dr Tristan Smith, Reader in Energy & Transport, David Shipworth, Reader in Energy and the Built Environment,

Industrial supervisor: James Mitchell Senior Research Associate at Carbon War Room. 

•    Stipend: up to £18,000 (tax free), UK/EU fees & travel/consumables budget
•    Start Date: Academic year 2015/16
•    Funding Duration: 3 years

University College London

University College London (UCL) is one of the UK’s premier universities and is ranked in the world’s top 10. It is a world-class research and teaching institution based in London whose staff and former students have included 20 Nobel Prize winners. Founded in 1826, and now with an annual turnover exceeding £600 million, it is an inspiring university in which to work and study. UCL currently employs approximately 8,000 staff across 54 Academic Departments and Institutes whose activities span the following: arts and humanities, social and historical sciences, law, architecture and the built environment, engineering sciences, mathematical and physical sciences, life and clinical sciences, and medicine. UCL’s academic and research staff is a truly international community with more than a quarter coming from 84 countries outside the UK. The UCL student community comprises 12,600 undergraduates and 8,500 graduate students, of whom over 30% come from 130 countries outside the UK. UCL currently offers 270 undergraduate programmes and more than 210 taught postgraduate programmes as well as the opportunity to carry out postgraduate research in all of its subjects. Approximately 40% of the student community is engaged in graduate studies, with about 37% of these graduate students pursuing research degrees.

UCL Energy Institute

The UCL Energy Institute is a multidisciplinary school within the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, with around 70 faculty and staff. It brings together multidisciplinary teams, providing critical mass and capacity for large projects. In particular, the UCL Energy Institute develops and undertakes research in the areas of energy-demand reduction and energy systems, to improve energy security and facilitate a transition to a low-carbon economy.
The UCL Energy Institute has a Doctoral Training Programme of over 70 PhD students to support the complex and multidisciplinary research objectives of the Institute. Examples of the current diverse range of PhD subjects being studied are at: http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/energy/people/mphil-phd-students.
Additionally, the MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment was launched in September 2013, and has quickly developed to be the leading programme for individuals from government, 3rd sector and industry to develop their careers in these vital energy related fields.

Shipping Research at the UCL Energy Institute

The shipping group at UCL Energy Institute consists of fifteen researchers and PhD students, involved in a number of on-going projects, funded through a mixture of research grants and consultancy vehicle, UMAS. This includes RCUK Energy funded Shipping in Changing Climates (£4m), ETI funded Heavy Duty Vehicles programme (£2m) and the IMO 3rd GHG Study. The group works closely with industry and policy makers through a number of sponsorships and consultancy projects, which have included, Shell, INTERTANKO, International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), Lloyd’s Register, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), Oceanfoil, BMT and International Paint.
The shipping group is world leading on two key areas; using big data to understand trends and drivers of shipping energy demand or emissions and using models to explore what-ifs for future markets and policies. The group undertakes research both using models of the shipping system (GloTraM), shipping big data (including satellite Automatic Identification System data) and qualitative and social science analysis of the policy and commercial structure of the shipping system. The shipping group’s research activity is centred on understanding patterns of energy demand in shipping and how this knowledge can be applied to help shipping transition to a low carbon future.

Carbon War Room

Carbon War Room (CWR) was founded in 2009 as a global non-profit by Sir Richard Branson and a group of likeminded entrepreneurs. It intervenes in markets to accelerate the adoption of business solutions that reduce carbon emissions at Gigaton scale and advance the low-carbon economy. CWR merged with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in 2014 and now operates as an RMI business unit.
Carbon War Room launched Shipping Efficiency in 2010. Since then, it has worked with RightShip to develop the GHG Emissions Rating and make it publicly available at ShippingEfficiency.org. The Rating ranks vessels against others of a similar type and size on a simple A to G scale, from most to least efficient. It is now used by charterers to shift a fifth of the world's shipped tonnage to more efficient ships annually and by other shipping stakeholders, including ports and banks.
In collaboration with UCL Energy Institute and other industry experts, CWR has created new financing models for efficiency retrofits and partnered with investor EfficientShip Finance to make $25 million available for these retrofits. CWR also collaborates with the UCL Energy Institute in various other research projects, including the Shipping Innovation Fast Tracker (ShIFT) and stranded assets in shipping.

PhD Studentship

The studentship is expected to consider and test a range of potential engineering and statistical analysis techniques which can be applied to estimate performance impacts of a retrofit technology. We are looking for a candidate with a specialism in quantitative analysis (engineering, economics, computer sciences, operations research, and quantitative social science). We are seeking a motivated candidate who is creative, enthusiastic and ready to thrive in a dynamic, multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team, with innovative proposals for how their personal research interests could leverage our on-going research activities and develop new knowledge with applications for industry and policy makers. Applicants should have an interest in the possible evolution of the UK and international shipping system in ways that reduce environmental impact while continuing to enable economic growth.
The studentship will be based at UCL where you will be supervised by world-leading academics. You will also have the opportunity to engage closely with the industry partner (Carbon War Room), other partners in industry, policy, NGOs and academia to pursue relevant and timely research, providing multiple routes into future employment in the rapidly expanding transport field. You will gain business and innovation skills; project and programme management skills; teamwork, communication and leadership skills; and the ability to seek solutions to complex, multifaceted problems.

It is essential that you are a UK or EU national who has been living in the UK for the past 3 years.

Applicants should have a UK bachelor's degree in a relevant subject or a closely related discipline, awarded with first-class or upper second-class (2:1) honours, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institute. For those applicants with a first or 2:1, possession of a master's degree in economics, engineering, operations research, science or quantitative social science is highly desirable. Candidates without a master's degree may be admitted in exceptional cases where suitable research experience can be demonstrated.

Application Procedure
Stage 1

In Stage 1, you are required to submit a 2-page CV, and a 1-page personal statement. Your personal statement should indicate your interest in the topic/research area and the relevance of your own skills and experience. 

All Stage 1 applications should be emailed to Mae Oroszlany, UCL Energy Institute’s PhD Programme Administrator on email: e.oroszlany@ucl.ac.uk.

Informal enquiries on the content of the studentship research topic can be made to Dr Tristan Smith (tristan.smith@ucl.ac.uk) or Dr Nishatabbas Rehmatulla (n.rehmatulla@ucl.ac.uk)

The closing date for the receipt of completed Stage 1 applications is 16h00 on Friday 24th March 2016.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview, which will take place on Monday 11th April 2016.

Stage 2
Following the interview, the successful candidate will be invited to make a formal application to the UCL PhD programme. This Stage 2 of the application process will consist of a full research proposal, a full UCL application form (noting the source of funding and supervisory arrangement), references, and supporting materials.