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Dr Steven Metcalf

The project:

The Sustainable Thermal Energy Technologies (STET) research group in the School of Engineering has a PhD scholarship opportunity in the area of thermal energy. Heating and cooling accounts for almost 40% of UK greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonising this sector remains one of the biggest challenges in combatting climate change.

Potential topics could be focused on the areas of heat networks, heat pumps and refrigeration, smart energy materials, waste heat capture and storage, heat transfer, sorption technologies or solar thermal. The precise topic within the area of thermal energy will be discussed with the successful candidate, with some freedom to choose their own research path whilst remaining within the group’s remit.

Current research interests include:

  • Thermal transformers for industrial waste heat upgrade
  • Gas-fired absorption and adsorption heat pumps
  • Thermochemical heat storage
  • Low-temperature district heat networks
  • Building thermal energy management and integration in smart energy systems

STET has a wide range of facilities, from equipment for thermal analysis to large test laboratories for prototype technologies, all within a self-contained area of over 400 m2 including office, meeting room and kitchenette facilities. The group has several large research grants to develop low-carbon heating and cooling technologies. For example, LoT-NET is a £5M six-year programme to investigate how waste heat can be recovered in smart energy systems. The candidate will work within the group and directly contribute to these research projects, affording them the opportunity to present to industry and academics from other institutions and at major international conferences.

Past and present PhD students have gained substantial practical experience in the design, building and control of novel heating and cooling technologies. These skills are highly sought after in a growing sector that is now receiving significant interest within industry and government policy, commensurate with its importance in meeting carbon dioxide emissions targets.

The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.