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Environmental Assessment of Solar Thermal Processes

The project deals with the development of a new concept for Solar Heating for Industrial Processes and involves modular and flexible integration of two innovative designs for the Solar Collector (SunDial) and the Thermal Energy Storage. It covers a substantial part of the heating and cooling demand of the process industry at temperatures above 150 ºC and below 5 ºC. The developed solar concept is tested in two industrial sites (steel industry and dairy company) to prove the objective’s target of TRL5. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) according to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System and International standards (ISO 14040/14044) will be carried out to validate and demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed technologies. The LCA costing for economic analyses will be performed through the CAPEX and OPEX. They will be assessed at the different stages of the project to ensure cost – effectiveness of different energy sources and competitiveness of the whole system and forecast those attributes for commercial version.

This PhD scholarship is part of the larger EU project ASTEP - “Solar energy in industrial processes” (HOME - Astep Project ) supported by EU – Horizon 2020. The scholarship covers annual living expenses of £15,009 – £17, 285 subject to satisfactory progress and UK/EU tuition fees. Please note that the studentship will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student.

This exciting 3-year PhD opportunity will involve LCA of new technologies to estimate the environmental and cost implications of low carbon processes. The effect on environment will be assessed using different tolls and software, following the LCA’s stages: (i) definition of scope and goal, (ii) development of relevant inventory inputs and outputs, (iii) assessment of their potential impacts and interpretation of results within the context of proposed targets. The LCA costing and indirect cost as productivity, cost of time, budget allocation and compare long-term expenses with short – term expenses will be analysed. CapEx and OpEx costing for the use of the solar energy for generation of heating and cooling systems will be determined. A new decision support toolbox that covers two-way power flow and communications between various components will be developed. Optimisation of several objective functions such as primary energy savings, emission reduction, minimum cost of CapEx and OpEx will be considered. The developed model will then be used for the environmental and economic analysis to find out the possible combinations of variables that will give the best performance concerning energy savings, emission reductions, and minimum cost of Renewable Energy Source.

You will be working together with a supervisory team that brings together unique expertise in solar energy and environmental sustainability. You will have an opportunity to work with the EU consortium of 17 partners from universities and companies and take part in the multidisciplinary research area at BUL.

Training opportunities: BUL will provide training, technical and academic support. You will develop transferable skills with engaging with different stakeholders and end-user companies.

For more information about this PhD opportunity, feel free to contact Dr. Valentina Stojceska at valentina.stojceska@brunel.ac.uk or Dr. Mohamed Darwish at Mohamed.Darwish@brunel.ac.uk.



The successful candidate will possess minimum 2:1 Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Science/ Engineering, Renewable Energy Engineering or equivalent qualification(s). Degree in MPhIl, MEng, MSc or industrial experience in sustainable energy and/or knowledge in using SimaPro 9 and COMSOL software would be an advantage.

How to apply

Please submit your application documents (see list below) by Friday 26 March 2021 to cedps-pgr-office@brunel.ac.uk valentina.stojceska@brunel.ac.uk and mohamed.darwish@brunel.ac.uk

Interviews will take place in on the 31st of March 2021.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your personal statement (300 to 500 words) summarising your background, skills and experience;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Evidence of your English language skills to IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent, 6.0 in all sections), if appropriate;
  • Name and contact details for TWO academic referees, one of which can be a member of staff in the College.

Please state the name of the project at the top of your personal statement.