PhD Studentship: Integrating Blue-Space into Energy-Efficient Urban Design

University of Bath - Architecture and Civil Engineering

Supervisor name Thomas Kjeldsen

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Research Centre: Water, Environment and Infrastructure Resilience (WEIR)

Green and blue space have the ability to cool the urban environment and thereby lead to considerable energy and carbon savings. Standing rainwater has traditionally been seen as a problem to be eliminated from built-up areas, with storm-drains designed to remove it from the city as quickly as possible. However, water has a high thermal capacity and can also remove excess solar energy by both evaporation as well as physical transport through outflow in waterways. This project will thus challenge the traditional engineering perception of rainwater in urban areas from being a problem and into an opportunity for reducing the carbon footprint of cities. The project will look at the potential to optimise the use of blue space in urban design in a variety of ways. On the one hand traditional urban water features such as ponds and streams will be studied, in order to determine their effect on the thermal environment and the impact on energy use such as cooling required for nearby buildings. This will be extended to include more recent innovations such as green roofs and their capture of rainwater and moderation of solar heating by using their thermal capacity and evaporation. The potential for novel engineering solutions will also be investigated, for example bespoke devices on roofs for the holding of water for the capture and elimination of excess heat. The project will combine field studies, small-scale experimental testing, as well as advanced statistical and numerical modelling of energy and water balances within urban environments. The outcome of the project is expected to be a new coupled modelling system representing the dynamic interaction between water and energy in build environments. Finally, this modelling system will be used to quantify and optimise strategies for integrating blue-space into energy-efficient urban design.

Funding Please tick how you intend for this project to be funded

The successful candidate will be fully funded for 3.5 years. This studentship will cover their Home/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000/annum, and a standard tax-free maintenance payment of at least £14,296 (16/7 rate). Candidates are expected to start on 2nd October 2017.

Only applicants with a Home fee status, or EU nationals residing in the UK are eligible for this funding, but we do welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide.

Who is the funding for? Home/EU

Application criteria Application criteria: Applicants must have a keen interest in urban water and energy issues with a good knowledge of mathematical and statistical analysis and computer programming (e.g. Python/R). Applicants should have a degree in a relevant engineering, physics or applied mathematics related discipline as well as strong English communication skills, both verbally and written.

Preferred start date 2nd October 2017

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