Skip to Content

Resource Efficient Future Cities PhD

Subject area: Mechanical Engineering Apply full time
Mode of study



Start date

Resource Efficient Future Cities PhD


About the course

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

MPhil option
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.

Research profile
The Resource Efficient Future Cities has current strengths in two streams of research:

  • energy use efficiency focuses on end use energy demand by buildings and urban areas and its interactions with users
  • sustainable environmental development of buildings focuses on the theme of materials and construction methods.

We have substantial expertise in energy efficiency in buildings including natural ventilation and low energy cooling technologies, optimum integration of renewable and passive systems with active mechanical systems, energy demand of urban buildings and mitigation/adaptation strategies, the use of natural, recyclable and smart materials in building construction and holistic approaches to sustainable development and infrastructure management. Investigations are carried out through a combination of fi eld measurements and laboratory experimentation with the use of in-house and commercial software.

The theme includes experts in engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical), social science and business. Therefore, we welcome interdisciplinary projects to address challenges for future cities related to energy and resource use. Research aims to tackle challenges such as building retrofit for energy efficiency and sustainability, cost effective zero emissions buildings, urban climate and micro climate impact on energy efficiency of buildings and districts, sustainable infrastructure construction and maintenance, transport, the supply chain and integrated systems for sustainable development.

Professor Maria Kolokotroni was elected as one of two board members to represent the UK in the longest-running project maintained by the International Energy Agency ‘Energy in Buildings and Communities’ programme: Annex 5 Air Infi ltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC). The AIVC includes representatives from 18 countries.

Find out more




All research degrees are administered by the Postgraduate Research Programmes Office in Colleges. Once you have identified your area of research and a potential supervisor, please use the contact details provided here for enquiries. You may approach your potential supervisor directly - browse Resource Efficient Future CitiesTheme Members Profiles.

College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266876


Special Features

We have current research links with:

  • Building Research Establishment – sustainable building materials
  • Transport Research Laboratory – road preventative maintenance
  • KTN-Built Environment – partners in projects
  • International Energy Agency - EBC Annexes
  • Building Design Consultants (eg Arup, AECOM, Sweco, Buro Happold, Hoare Lea)
  • Collaborations with European and US Universities as well as China, Brazil, Malaysia, UAE and developing countries (Jamaica, Ghana)

Centre of excellence
The Grow2Build European Centre of Excellence was established at Brunel in the summer 2015 and will ensure the continuation of the funded project. The aim is to achieve a recognisable presence within the construction industry as a place to seek consultation on every aspect of flax- and hemp-based materials; from cultivation and processing to laboratory research and development to the application of market ready products.

Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.

Library services
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.

  • state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
  • one of the largest UK’s full text repository
  • an integrated data management system
  • analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
  • Open Access centrally managed fund

Facts and Figures

Brunel University London REF2014 Submission : Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering General Engineering

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008.  The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students

Teaching and Assessment


Supervisors with insight
Our researchers create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip versatile graduates with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse the list of the members of our Theme to select your potential supervisor here. You are welcome to approach your potential supervisor directly to discuss your research interests.

Fees for 2016/17 entry

Home/EU students

Full time: £4,121 Part time: £2,060

International students

Full time: £17,200 Part time: £8,600

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Criteria 2016/17

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent.  All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study: IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any section). This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support.  The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.