Energy systems studentships

This PhD cluster provides opportunities for cross-school and cross-faculty PhD studentship projects on a wide range of topics related to energy systems.

Start date

1 October 2023


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

UKRI and/or University of Surrey

Funding information

​The studentship will provide a stipend at UKRI rates (currently £17,668 for 2022/23) and tuition fees for 3.5 years. An additional bursary of £1,700 per annum for the duration of the studentship will be offered to exceptional candidates.


This PhD cluster provides opportunities for cross-school and cross-faculty PhD studentship projects on a wide range of topics related to energy systems. The aim is to contribute to the capacity development through focused research and training in net zero energy systems by developing innovative technological solutions, analytical and modelling capacity that combines engineering, science, environmental and economic analysis skills and contributing to impact-generating outcomes locally, nationally and globally.

The cluster will focus on net zero energy systems and research opportunities will include:

  • Innovative technological solutions, systems integration and a whole systems approach to decarbonisation will be essential to support the global efforts for low-carbon energy system transition both in the developed world and in developing countries
  • Onshore and offshore renewable energy systems, including synergy of hybrid multiple systems, structural design, sustainability and resilience of energy infrastructure, lifecycle analysis, supply chain and commercial issues
  • City energy systems, including city-level integrated energy system modelling, city energy planning tools involving GIS and Earth Observation Data; smart energy campus; and risk and uncertainty analysis
  • The development of novel materials, along with device testing, modelling and system optimisation, for both electrochemical and non-electrochemical technologies
  • Hydrogen production and utilisation, sustainable alternative fuels, biological fuel or energy technologies, CO2 utilisation, and energy-efficient production of chemical feedstocks or treatment of waste.


Project title
Adaptive optimisation of photo-electrochemical CO2 reduction system through digital twin
Climate change resilience and adaptation of energy piles
Decarbonisation and sustainable city in the uk: synergies, trade-offs and prioritisation of interventions
Develop a hybrid offshore renewable energy harvest system on re-purposed oil and gas platform
Development of a low-temperature metal-supported steam electrolyser for hydrogen generation
Digital twin implementation for the sustainable use of built heritage assets
Energy harvesting from structural movements enhanced by origami
Energy systems and land use in the urban-rural interface
Engineering novel catalysts for CO2 utilisation to high value fuels and chemicals
Experimental and computational investigation of raman spectral data on anion-exchange membranes containing different quaternary ammonium chemistries and anions
Exploring the role of advanced technology for heating decarbonisation in distributed energy system
Exploring the role of perovskite solar cells in net-zero economy
Increasing supercapacitor energy density through sputter deposited thin films
Integrated design of concentrated solar power (CSP) systems for distributed energy applications
Investigating sustainable, nature-based methods as solutions which reduce energy utilisation and proactively improve health outcomes from drinking water supplies at local, regional and national levels
Investigation of sustainable decarbonised local district energy systems in the UK
Net zero H2 fuel generation
Open source, integrated electricity, heat and transport energy modelling at the city level
Optimisation of decarbonised local energy system under uncertainty
Optimisation of energy usage in indoor spaces with 'internet of things' and machine learning
Rethinking, digitising and transforming contaminated land assessments to provide optimal remediation solutions and address net zero carbon targets
Structural energy storage
Structural health monitoring of aged FRP composite wind turbine blades for damage assessment and lifetime prediction
Towards climate change resilient energy infrastructure

Eligibility criteria

Open to any UK or international candidates. Up to 30% of our UKRI funded studentships can be awarded to candidates paying international rate fees. Find out more about eligibility.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the application portal for the PhD programme specified in the individual project advertisements:

In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the projects that you wish to apply for (up to 2) and the name of the relevant supervisor(s), together with an explanation of your motivations for wanting to study for a PhD and your reasons for selecting the project(s) you have chosen.

You must upload your full CV and any transcripts of previous academic qualifications. You should enter ’Faculty Funded Competition’ under funding type.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

For informal enquiries, please follow the link to the project that interests you. You will then be able to contact the relevant project supervisor.


Studentships at Surrey

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