Interdisciplinary PhD Studentships in Energy, People and Sustainable Living

Applications are invited for three fully-funded PhD studentships to be based in the Energy & Climate Change Division (ECCD) of the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. The researchers will be based in ECCD’s Sustainable Energy Research Groupbut have additional funding to support one or two of the PhDs for a research visit of up to 12 months (length depends on funding and overall cost) at the University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainability.

The main supervisory team will be academics from the ECCD at the faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton including Dr Ben Anderson, Prof ‘Bakr Bahaj, Dr Luke Blunden, Prof Patrick James and Dr Stephanie Gauthier with support from appropriate colleagues at both UK and New Zealand institutions. The studentships will be integrated with the ongoing research programmes of both groups through the implementation of a jointly agreed interdisciplinary research projects.

Applicants will have to review the research programmes of the two groups and proposed a research topic which either:

·         Intersects with the on-going interdisciplinary research activities of both groups or

·         Develops new areas of joint interest to both groups in ways that integrate the engineering and social sciences.

Whilst we welcome applications to study any relevant topic we are particularly interested in:

1.      Comparative studies of the policy, commercial and infrastructure implications of everyday residential energy consumption habits in the UK and New Zealand (Project links: SAVE, Low Carbon Cities, GreenGrid, DEMAND, Energy Cultures);

2.      Spatially disaggregated household energy consumption/demand microsimulation to provide local area estimates of temporal energy demand (Project link: SAVE);

3.      Comparative studies of mobility habits and/or the lived experience of local and seasonal variations in air quality and the implications for well-being in coastal cities with major port facilities in the UK (Southampton) and New Zealand (Dunedin) (Project link: Liveable Cities, SAVE, Mobility Trends);

4.      Novel approaches to the analysis of large scale ‘smart meter’ derived energy consumption data (Project links: SAVE, Census2022, GreenGrid);

5.      The interplay of power and power: studies of the role of renewable energy in empowering social and economic transitions towards sustainable and resilient ways of living (Project links: E4D, Liveable Cities, Resilience & Communities).


Applicants must have at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a demonstrably relevant engineering discipline, and must be UK/ EU citizens to be eligible for the funding associated with the project.

To Apply:

Please follow the instructions on the Faculty website but before completing the formal application please contact the Energy & Climate Change Division (via to discuss your ideas. You will then need to provide a 2-page proposal setting out your research topic describing how it meets the inter-centre and interdisciplinary specification described above. This proposal must be uploaded during your formal application