PDRA in Sorption of Thermal Energy Systems

£33797 - £35845 per annum
Wednesday, 14 July 2021
End of advertisement period
Wednesday, 11 August 2021
Durham University
Contract Type
Full Time

The Role

We invite applications for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) on a project jointly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), "Geothermal Energy from Mines and Solar-Geothermal heat (GEMS)". The position is fixed term for 36 months, with a start date at 1st September 2021. This post is part of a larger project involving two further PDRAs in the Department of Earth Science and the Department of Anthropology at Durham University, and involves close collaborations with 12 scientists from Durham University (Earth Sciences, Engineering, Anthropology and the Business School) and the British Geological Survey (BGS), as well as national and international project partners.

Warm water in the ~23,000 disused, flooded mines in the UK offer a huge, low-carbon geothermal energy resource that could heat, cool, and provide heat storage for a quarter of UK homes and businesses, notably economically disadvantaged regions, such as former mining and many urban communities. To utilise and optimise this enormous energy supply and storage opportunity, research is required on a number of aspects, including optimised abstraction strategies of those heat resources, introduction of innovative heat storage solutions to level out diurnal and seasonal energy demand fluctuations, mapping the financial landscape for mine geothermal energy, and integration of the technical aspects with governance frameworks, social acceptance and economic viability. The aim of the GEMS project is to provide integrated solutions, from initial heat extraction to the end user, for employing mine water geothermal heat energy as sustainable, low-carbon heat source by using simulation tools, innovative heat storage solutions, evaluation of the governance and economic landscape, and community participation.

Applications for this post are invited for a PDRA in Sorption Thermal Energy Systems. The person will require expertise in sorption technology and materials and energy systems (heating, cooling, and thermal energy storage). The successful applicant will be expected to carry out high quality research leading to the development of novel sorption material and demonstration of an innovative sorption heat pump & energy storage systems through experimental and numerical investigation. The PDRA will directly work with Professor Tony Roskilly, Dr Zhiwei Ma and Dr Huashan Bao in the Department of Engineering.