|Location:||Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Funding for:||EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students|
|Funding amount:||Up to £15,609 annual living allowance, plus £20,000 individual allowance to cover costs associated with the PhD|
|Placed On:||8th December 2021|
|Closes:||31st January 2022|
Heating and cooling of buildings in the UK currently depend on carbon-intensive technologies, and account for 37% of the UK’s carbon footprint. Shifts towards more carbon-neutral technologies, such as the use of shallow geothermal energy sources, have proven to be an effective means of decarbonising the heating and cooling of the built environment. However, the wider environmental impacts and potential trade-offs of these emerging technologies are still poorly understood.
Changes in soil and subsurface temperature regimes could critically alter key biogeochemical processes such as evapotranspiration, carbon sequestration, pollutant biodegradation, surface chemical reactions and mineral weathering. Research so far has focused on the impacts of geothermal energy use on groundwater temperatures or bioavailability of redox-sensitive elements (e.g. arsenic); less is known about the impacts on biogeochemical processes in soil or the vadose zone. Improving understanding of how temperature perturbations will alter subsurface processes is critical for understanding the overall environmental impact of geothermal energy use, given the acknowledged importance of soils as a carbon sink or locus for pollutant removal.
This project will investigate the impact of geothermal energy use on subsurface temperatures and how this influences biogeochemical processes in different aquifer types. This will combine data from existing water abstraction wells and onshore oil and gas wells, together with experimental work in the laboratory and field. Modelling of heat perturbations will link the experimental and observational work. The project will develop a process-based understanding of how temperature perturbations, arising from geothermal energy use, influence biogeochemical systems. Understanding the benefits and trade-offs of shallow geothermal systems in urban settings could become increasingly important as the UK evaluates the opportunity to expand the implementation of shallow geothermal systems to meet its energy needs.
Application Closing Date
31 January 2022
Professor Yit Arn Teh
Dr Cees van der Land
Dr Ross Stirling
Professor David Manning
2:1 Bachelor Honours Degree or MSc in Earth Sciences, Environmental Engineering, Physical Geography, Microbiology (Environmental), Environmental Science or other allied discipline
We welcome applications from UK, EU and International students, however this studentship only covers tuition fees at the Home rate. Applicants with International fee status will therefore be required to provide the difference between Home and International fees.
How To Apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create an account’.
All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. You will need to:
Type / Role: