UCL Energy Institute


Apply for our PhD Studentship in hydrogen and hydrogen products as potential marine fuels

30 May 2017

The UCL Energy Institute invites applications for a fully funded 3 year PhD studentship in hydrogen and hydrogen products as potential marine fuels


The UCL Energy Institute invites applications for a fully funded (UK fees plus stipend) 3 year PhD studentship jointly funded by Enviu BV under the CASE Award. The topic for the PhD is investigating the application of Hydrogen as a marine fuel.


  • Title: Hydrogen and hydrogen products as potential marine fuels
  • Supervisors: Dr Tristan Smith, Reader in Energy & Transport. Industrial supervisor: Tim van Vrijaldenhoven, Venture Builder at Enviu.
  • Stipend: £18,000 (tax free, increasing to £19,000 in year 3), UK fees & travel/consumables budget
  • Start Date: October 2017
  • 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 (http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/energy) 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. The Doctoral Training Programme also includes the UK Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Energy Demand Reduction and the Built Environment a collaboration between the UCL Energy Institute and Loughborough University.  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.


Enviu is an issue-driven organisation that creates market solutions for large scale social and ecological problems, and builds multinational social enterprises as drivers for system change. Through our work we aim to improve the quality of life of as many people as possible in a sustainable way.
In 2004, Enviu started from the belief that entrepreneurship and co-creation can play a major role in solving the world’s biggest challenges. Over the years we’ve set up more than a dozen social enterprises and innovation programs. Enviu works for and with renowned partners from the private sector, foundations, international NGO’s and governments, that share our ambition to improve the quality of life and habitat of large groups of marginalised people with a common need. In most cases we focus on providing access to finance and income, food and circularity.
Together with partners we develop innovation programs and start building a flagship multinational social enterprise to address the issue and to drive the market development in multiple countries. In short, we work from an issue, to an idea, to a social multinational enterprise that drives system change.
With one of our initiatives we aim to contribute to a future proof shipping world by validating pioneering renewable energy technologies that have the potential to make the industry fossil-fuel and emissions free. In partnership with governments, universities, entrepreneurs, informal and institutional investors, and key players in the shipping industry, Future Proof Shipping (FPS) aims to accelerate the adoption of clean hydrogen-based innovations for the maritime industry. FPS will initiate sustainable systemic change via the development of novel financial and operational models that make these technologies commercially viable, scalable and financially attractive to the industry.

PhD Studentship

The studentship is expected to develop new knowledge on the different ways hydrogen and hydrogen products could be stored and used to generate energy on board ships.  We are looking for a candidate with expertise in applicable engineering or physical sciences. 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 (Enviu), 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.

The 3 year Impact studentship consists of UK fees, a stipend of £18,000 per annum (increasing to £18,500 in year two and £19,000 in year three), plus an additional £1,000 per annum to spend on research related expenses. The stipend is tax free (conditions apply).

It is essential that you are a UK student 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: email; e.oroszlany@ucl.ac.uk, tel; +44 (0)20 3108 5941

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 7th July 2017 . Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview, which will take place on Monday 17th July 2017

Stage 2

Following the interview, the successful candidate will be invited to make a formal application to the UCL PhD programme.

Any offer made will be subject to references and proof of meeting the UCL English language requirements

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.

Full details of the UCL PhD application process is at: http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/energy/programmes/mphil_phd/mphilphd-energy, and at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/research