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Tyndall Manchester

PGR PhD opportunities at Tyndall Manchester

PhD projects

Here are our latest PhD projects

We have a diverse range of PhD projects available. If these are funded they are noted in the description. To find out more about opportunities for funding you can visit the University page and the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering page.

Large scale bioenergy and BECCS net negative emission strategies and the potential role of waste and residue feedstocks

Supervisors: Dr. Andrew Welfle, Dr. Clair Gough, Dr. Amanda Lea-Langton

Brief overview: The widespread sourcing of forest-based biomass feedstocks is now a well-established pathway for large scale bioenergy generation in the UK. However, any large scale deployment of BECCS technologies will mean that further feedstocks will be required at a correspondingly large scale. It is essential that these feedstocks are sourced sustainably and that, ultimately, the BECCS pathways deliver net negative emissions.

This work will be carried out within the Tyndall Centre and as part of the UK Supergen Bioenergy Hub, who each have established links with the UK energy sector and industrial partners - where there is growing focus to develop and test BECCS technologies, and interest in exploring the potential of growing biomass feedstock supply chains based on UK and international wastes and residues.

This project will focus on analysing the potential for developing large scale BECCS in the UK, based on waste and residue biomass feedstocks, such as those generated by agricultural or industrial sectors. Key research themes will include: i) mapping biomass resource availability; ii) developing feedstock supply chain & BECCS technology deployment scenarios; iii) analysing the bioenergy potential for large scale BECCS deployment in the UK, iv) evaluating the levels of net negative emissions that may be achieved, and v) identifying the potential challenges & opportunities of large scale deployment of BECCS.


Power networks for the future of aviation and shipping

Main supervisor: Alice Larkin

Co-Supervisor: John Broderick

Brief overview: Electric planes and shore-powered ships could reduce climate change emissions and improve local air quality. From Heathrow to Hong Kong, these opportunities are as yet poorly characterised and restricted by existing geographically specific infrastructure. This project will characterise the scale of emission reduction potential and implications for power network planning and management through case studies of technologies and sites.

Further details can be found on Find a PhD.

Funder: Power Networks CDT

Skills and background required: Quantitative physical or social science (eg engineering, chemistry, physics, economics).

Characterising the role of diverse nuclear technologies for a zero-carbon UK

Main supervisor: Kevin Anderson

Co-Supervisor: John Broderick and Richard Taylor

Brief overview: How much could nuclear technologies contribute to a zero carbon UK? This project will characterise the role of diverse reactor designs and fuel cycles for a zero-carbon UK, from traditional light water reactors for electricity generation to district heat networks and high temperature reactors to generate hydrogen for aircraft. The project will entail interdisciplinary research, developing and assessing quantitative scenarios.

Further details can be found on the Next Generation Nuclear CDT site.

Funder: Next Generation Nuclear CDT

Skills and background required: Quantitative physical or social science (eg engineering, chemistry, physics, economics).

An interdisciplinary study of the challenges surrounding sectors with the most difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (eg agriculture, aviation, shipping) and implications for the Paris Agreement

Main supervisor: Alice Larkin

Co-Supervisor: John Broderick

Brief overview: The international transport sector has been understood for some time as posing particular challenges for significantly curbing CO2 emissions, so much so that explicit reference to these international emissions was omitted from the Paris Agreement. Agriculture on the other hand, has feasible opportunities to cut significantly its CO2 emissions, but a large proportion of agricultural emissions are attributable to non-CO2 greenhouse gases, such as N2O and CH4, which are much more difficult to mitigate. Taken together, these ‘difficult to mitigate’ sectors, are expected to continue to contribute to a positive radiative forcing for many decades, while the Paris Agreement aims to limit global temperature rises to less than 2C – a goal that requires urgent and deep mitigation as early as 2030. To limit temperature rises to levels in line with the Paris Agreement, at the same time as there is an ongoing increase in radiative forcing contribution from some sectors, implies deeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions than are currently anticipated by policy makers, need to be made elsewhere in the energy system. By quantitatively and qualitatively considering the limits to mitigation in across ‘difficult to mitigate’ sectors, this PhD study will provide a fuller appreciation of the scale of CO2 mitigation required to remain commensurate with the Paris Agreement, identify intervention points for mitigation within 'difficult to mitigate’ sectors, and draw out implications for policy and decision makers.