Postdoctoral Research Associate in Energy System Modelling

Durham, United Kingdom
33797 - 40322
Friday, 9 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 16 April 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Department of Engineering

Grade 7: - 33797 - 40322
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 3 years
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 16-Apr-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Durham University

Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.

The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breath-taking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.

The Department

The Department of Engineering is consistently one of the very best UK engineering departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. We have a long history and tradition of Engineering. Engineering has been taught at Durham University since 1838 making it the first course of its kind in England. The Department provides outstanding course content that equips young engineers with the problem solving skills of the 21st century; is committed to an ethos of research-led teaching at all levels of its taught programmes; and is ranked 4th in the Guardian and 6th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 in the UK for General Engineering. Ranked 4th in the UK for Research impact at REF 2014, where 90% of the Engineering outputs were graded 3* or 4*, this dynamic department is an excellent place to work. We have helped to shape the past and continue to shape the future. The strategic vision for the Department includes a growth plan of over 50% over the next five years, with a significant enhancement of the research challenge portfolio, and a drive to enrich our undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research provision. It is an exciting time to join this expanding Department and make your mark.

The Department has an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, recognising our commitment to diversity in STEM academia and reflecting the supportive and positive environment within the Department.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Research Associate in Energy System Modelling. The person will require expertise in develop new methods in numerical modelling and analysis of multi-vector energy systems which couple supply, demand and storage.

The successful applicant will be expected to carry out high quality work closely with academic colleagues and industrial partners to ensure projects are successfully delivered on time, within budget and meeting all objectives. The Research Associate will work directly with Professor Tony Roskilly and contribute to research projects that require numerical modelling expertise. 


  • To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations, discussions and meetings which contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  • To write up results of research work, present information on research progress and outcomes to bodies supervising research in a clear and accurate manner.
  • To analyse or undertake basic research by deciding how best to apply existing methodology according to overall context and objectives.
  • To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
  • To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
  • To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • To assist in contributing to support student projects on the use of research modelling methods and techniques. 
  • To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
  • To engage in continuing professional development by attending relevant training and development courses.   

The post-holder is employed to work on externally funded research projects. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of projects, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.

Successful applicants will commence work as soon as possible from the 1st May 2021.

This post is fixed term for 3 years; the funding is available for this fixed period only.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Tony Roskilly (anthony.p.roskilly@durham.ac.uk). All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.  We are committed to equality: if for any reason you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on your career path, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application.  The selection committee will recognise that this may have reduced the quantity of your research accordingly.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will be of the applicants’ ability to satisfy the essential and desirable requirements. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment on a date to be confirmed.

The Requirements – Person Specification

Essential Criteria:


  • A PhD in research of energy system modelling and intelligent control.
  • A good first degree in Mechanical Engineering with a high thermodynamics, electrical and control emphasis and content (equivalent to a UK upper second-class/ 2:1 honours degree or higher).


  • Experience of conducting high quality fundamental research in:
    • Thermal Modelling, simulation and control of buildings/homes
    • Hybrid Heating, energy storage and heat networks
    • Industrial energy efficiency with heat recovery
    • Modelling and control of multi-vector energy systems
    • Systems integration and Intelligent control
    • Digital twin development (requirements capture, data gathering, calibration and validation)
  • Publishing high quality research articles.
  • Evidence of extensive experience of computational research and development.
  • Thorough understanding of thermodynamics, electrical systems and control.
  • Demonstrable ability to produce concise and well-written reports for a range of stakeholders.
  • Experience of working closely with industry.
  • Experience in presenting research outcomes to wide range of stakeholders
  • Experience in supporting the supervision of Postgraduate and Undergraduate student projects.


  • Solid background in the application of energy system modelling and control theory.
  • Excellent skills in computer programming using ESL, MATLAB, Simulink and EES (Engineering Equation Solver) and other relevant dynamic simulation software.
  • Ability to use building simulation software (IESVE) and Part L tools (SAP and SBEM)
  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to manage time effectively and work to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent presentation and dissemination skills.
  • Ability to liaise with a range of stakeholders.
  • High level of organisation skills.
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and management of independent research.
  • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.