NERC CASE award in collaboration with Mimer Energy Ltd

NERC Open CASE studentship comprising UK/EU fees and 3.5 years maintenance bursary

Modelling of Robust and Adaptable Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems

A PhD research studentship within the Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD), an internationally leading multi-disciplinary research institute focused on the human and technological dimensions of sustainability, is available to suitably qualified UK students. Applications are invited from well-qualified, highly motivated individuals for a PhD studentship, commencing February 2012. This CASE award is being operated in collaboration with Mimer Energy Ltd based in Falmouth, Cornwall. The student would be expected to spend a portion of their time at the company.

Concern with UK carbon emissions arising from cooling of non-domestic buildings has lead to growing interest in geothermal heating and cooling systems (Ground Source Heat Pumps). There are a number of novel systems that are innovations of established geothermal system technology that are potentially able to provide significant reductions in building carbon emissions. Such hybrid systems are able to expand the possible application of this renewable technology and also increase its robustness to changes in operation and adaptation to climate change. As satisfactory behavior of geothermal systems depends on annual and super-annual heat balances, simulation methods must be employed in the design process. Model studies must include the dynamics of ground heat transfer over large scales and the dynamic operation of the heating and cooling system. The development of suitable modeling methods and their application to the analysis of novel geothermal heating and cooling systems is the challenge to be addressed in the project.

The successful applicant will join a group of researchers at the IESD, at De Montfort University, who are conducting research in the area of geothermal heating and cooling systems. The Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) is an internationally leading research institute focusing on energy and sustainability. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008), 65% of the Institute’s research was rated “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. You will be provided with excellent facilities and funding for travel, e.g. to present work at conferences and will be offered bespoke training for your project.

This NERC CASE award is being operated in collaboration with Mimer Energy Ltd ( The student will receive training and develop the research with the company for a portion of each of three years. You would be supervised by the senior technical staff of the company who have an extensive track record in the design and application of geothermal heating and cooling technology. This will be an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the UK Renewable Energy sector.

Applications are invited from UK students with a good first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject (an Earth Science, Engineering or physical science subject). NERC CASE awards are open to UK citizens or students having a ”relevant connection with the UK” as outlined in the NERC student handbook EU students who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years may also be eligible for a full award. The award will provide fees and a tax free maintenance bursary of £14,590 per annum.

Closing date: 27th February 2012
Interview date: January / February

Starting date:  March 2012

Informal enquires may be made to: Dr Simon Rees, Tel: +44 (0)116 257 7974

Applicants should contact Anne Smith to receive an application pack, which requires a full CV with two supporting references.Please email or call +44 (0)116 2576519 for further details.

Please quote ref: IESD NERC CASE studentship 2011.