PhD: Retrofitting Space Heating Systems For Historic Churches: Meeting The Needs Of Conservation, Community And Environmental Sustainability

University College London

Retrofitting space heating systems for historic churches: meeting the needs of conservation, community and environmental sustainability

Historic churches are facing significant challenges in recent years in meeting increasingly demanding “quality of life” standards whilst they are used in broadening and hosting social engagements within the community.  To put this in context, the Church of England owns over 15,000 churches.  Of these, 78% are listed 45% of the Grade I listed buildings in England , of which over half actively host some form of community activity.  The environmental thermal requirements of modern activities in historic churches are often in conflict with the original nature of these buildings, their historic connotation, the building materials, and in meeting user comfort while at the same time presenting and aligning to the concepts of a sustainable society. The demand for solutions becomes even more critical when such buildings are faced with renovating their building services, usually due to a need to either preserve the building or achieve required comfort conditions to continue to sustain its occupation. This research aims to address this challenge by generating new knowledge to enable the evaluation and implementation of space heating technologies in historic churches, thereby increasing the environmental and social sustainability of the building while taking into consideration relevant constraints such as the preservation of the structure and artefacts as well the anticipated community activities.

Academic supervisors – Dr Kenneth Ip, Dr Marco Picco, Dr Arman Hashem University of Brighton

Heritage supervisor – Fr. Lawrence MacLean Diocese of Chichester

Industrial supervisor – Dr David Greenfield SOcial, ENvironmental & EConomic Solutions Ltd.

Full information can be found at:

Academic entry criteria: 2:1 minimum undergraduate degree and/or excellent grades in a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline such as engineering, architecture, science or physics.  Previous knowledge in building performance, building services engineering or environmental modelling will be an advantage.

Training path: As part of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training SEAHA Science and Engineering for Arts, Heritage and Archaeology , students will complete the one-year MRes at UCL before completing their PhD in years 2-4. The student will be encouraged to spend time working with Diocese of Chichester and the industrial partner SOENECS Ltd.

Enquiries: Contact the academic supervisor Dr Kenneth Ip .

Funding: The studentship covers home fees & stipend up to a maximum of £18,172 p.a. current rate for eligible applicants plus research budget. Non‐EU applicants are not eligible for funding.

The award is subject to a Grant Agreement between UCL, and University of Brighton.

Application deadline: 5 pm, Tuesday 29th August 2017

How to apply:

  • Submit an application to the UCL SEAHA Manager: including:
  • A covering letter 2-3 pages including:
    • a clear explanation of your motivation for applying for this project
    • a statement of your understanding of your eligibility according to criteria specified by SEAHA and the EPSRC.
  • A research proposal max. 2000 words taking into consideration the research questions
  • A full CV
  • Contact details for two academic references
  • Proof of meeting the UCL English language proficiency requirements
  • Submit an application to the MRes programme via the UCL online system It is vital you submit this in addition to the above.

Interviews are likely to take place in Brighton the week commencing 4 September 2017. Remote interviews can be held if necessary.

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