Driving out complexity to optimise the performance of future major energy projects - PhD Studentship

Cranfield University - Cranfield School of Management

Start Date: May 2017
Duration of award: 4 years 
Supervisor: Dr.  Edward Ochieng, Senior Lecturer in Programme and Project Management 

Sponsored by Cranfield School of Management, this studentship includes fees plus stipend of £14, 296 per annum for four years.

The overall aim of this PhD will be to determine how energy organisations can right-size their major projects and drive out complexity. This will be achieved by challenging current project management thinking, and promoting more strategic and science based project management tools and processes. The research is timely given the current challenging economic climate, increasing demands for change in energy sources and consumer prices, emerging and fracking opportunities.

There is paucity of study relating to major energy project assessment and development. The research is primarily significant for the following reasons: the research findings would contribute to project management body of knowledge and it will make recommendations that would take a holistic view of operational efficiency to reduce complexity and complex risk. This research presents a unique opportunity to review project delivery performance within the UK energy sector and, determine how the UK will invest efficiently, affordably and sustainably in future. The key research questions to be addressed in relation to the energy sector are:

  • How can high risk major energy projects be scaled and linked to the concept of scalability?
  • Why major energy projects (renewable and non-renewable) prone to failure and what is to be done to get at the root? 
  • How can energy operators structure and rationalise future major energy projects?
  • What measures can be put in place to achieve sufficient operations and minimise complexity?
  • What wider industry issues may affect the performance of major energy projects and general industry capability?

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have a first or an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as project management or energy management.  In addition, the ideal candidate should have a relevant postgraduate qualification in project management or energy management, be capable of working across science based project managed techniques and project delivery processes. It is expected that the successful candidate will have adequate knowledge on UK energy-mix policy issues, science based project management tools, global energy mix projections and ability to use qualitative and quantitative research methods. The successful PhD candidate will be required to attend conferences and publish in high ranking journals. 

Applicants must meet English language requirements. Please note that School of Management expects an IELTS of 7.0 in order to be accepted for the PhD programme.

Funding: This funding is open to UK, EU and international students.

How to apply:
For further information please contact: Dr. Edward Ochieng, E: e.g.ochieng@cranfield.ac.uk, T: (0) 1234 750111 Ext: 3123

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please see our how to apply web pages

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