UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Fully funded PhD studentship in Circular Net Zero Transformation of UK Steel Industry

20 December 2022

Applications are now open for a proposed studentship in 'Technology options for a circular Net zero Transformation of the UK steel industry: insights from a demand based perspective', as part of 60 studentships to be awarded by the UCL EPSRC DTP.

steel mill

About the project

Project title: Technology options for a circular Net zero Transformation of the UK steel industry: insights from a demand based perspective
Project supervisor: Dr Teresa DomenechDr Alvaro Calzadilla
Project ID: 2228bd1186 (You will need this ID for your application)

Steel is essential to our society. It is used across a wide range of applications from infrastructure projects to domestic appliances. Although steel is a foundational industry and precursor of economic and social development, it is one of the largest emitters of GHG emissions worldwide. Steel producers across the globe are facing technological and policy challenges to accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel sector. The UK economy is highly reliant of steel and steel-containing products, but the reduction of its manufacturing base has resulted in a large share of emissions embodied in trade (imports to the UK). 

Who you will be working with
Working across a multi-disciplinary team of researchers as part of the UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre on Circular Metals, the work will include working closely with a range of stakeholders, and in a collaboration with four other UKRI Circular Economy Centres and industry.

What you will be doing
The main goal of the project is to conduct a detailed dynamic Material Flow Analysis to understand the use of steel in the UK and associated emissions from a demand-based perspective. This would require to track down steel across all it life stages from crude steel to steel embedded in products, and quantify emissions associated to UK steel consumption. This would enable to identify embodied emissions associated to growing share of steel product imports and explore technological pathways for production of green steel in the UK. In your PhD thesis, you will develop a model which allows to connect material flows, carbon emissions and link it with macro-economic models to explore technological options towards the future.

About the Supervisory Team

Dr Teresa Domenech is Associate Professor in Circular Economy at UCL-ISR. Her expertise and research interests lie in the areas of industrial symbiosis, sustainability, industrial ecology, circular economy, urban metabolism, environmental policy and the application of circular economy principles to urban transitions. In her research, she has made extended use of a wide range of research methods, including Material Flow Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment, Statistical analysis and Network Analysis.

Dr Alvaro Calzadilla is Associate Professor in Macro-economic Modelling for a Green Economy at UCL-ISR. His primary research interest is in environmental, recourse and applied economics. He has worked extensively with global computable general equilibrium models applied to the analysis of water resources, agricultural policies, land use and bioenergy policies, renewable energy, climate change, resource efficiency and the circular economy.

Key information

Funder: UCL ESPRC DTP studentship
Value: Fees, Stipend (at least £20,668 per year), Research Training Support Grant
Duration: Up to 4 years (thesis to be submitted within funded period)
Eligible Fee Status: Home, International
(EPSRC caps the total number of funded International fee status students across UCL for this award at 30%)
Study Mode: Full or Part time (at least 50% FTE) [Note: Part time is not available to International students]
Primary Selection Criteria: Academic merit
Project ID: 2228bd1186 (You will need this ID for your application)
Application Deadline: 12:00 on 26 January 2023

How to apply

This PhD Studentship topic is one of 19 proposed by The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources to a competition for approximately 60 studentships that will be awarded across UCL as part of the UCL EPSRC DTP. Prospective students are welcome to apply for up to 5 potential studentships - see the full list of projects from our department and the UCL project database for a comprehensive list across the university. The 60 successful proposals will be chosen following applicant interviews.
Before applying, all applicants must read the full eligibility criteria and application guidance on the UCL EPSRC DTP website. There is a 3-part application process, with a deadline of the 26 January 2023 to complete the third part of the application.