Full time/ fully funded PhD Studentship in Adaptive Thermal Comfort

We’re looking for outstanding computer-scientist, environmental scientist or human-geographer with a passion for promoting environmental sustainability and commercial innovation to join our group!  Funding for 3 years, commencing October 2017. Deadline 29th May 2017.

Energy used for heating represents over 50% of domestic energy use in UK, and has increased by 1/3rd in the past 40 years.  To respond to our climate change commitments, we must radically reduce the amount of energy associated with heating and cooling buildings.  Current systems do not work in harmony with outdoor temperatures, and are not responsive to occupants or the actual use of indoor space.

This PhD studentship represents a unique opportunity to systematically explore an entirely different approach to controlling indoor temperature based on fine-grained sensing and control.  We will be creating experimental testbeds, innovative control and UI systems and working with stakeholders on an entire building scale, to explore this issue ‘in situ’.

The system will be co-created and evaluated in a unique multidisciplinary research-industry collaboration across School of Computing & Communications (pervasive systems), Lancaster Environment Centre (social-geography), Hardy & Ellis Inventions Ltd (H&E), and Lancaster University facilities.

We thus welcome applications for individuals who are enthusiastic about working as part of a multidisciplinary team and making a difference. We are open to:

  1. Computer Science (software/systems): algorithms and ubicomp systems to enable adaptive indoor temperatures in response to internal/external factors;
  2. Computer Science (HCI): new user interfaces/ HCI for stimulating cultural change (encouraging active participation) to achieve comfort in partnership with the new system;
  3. Environmental Science/ Human-Geography: understanding the spatial and temporal changes in the use of space and comfort practices that result.

Depending on background, applicants should be numerate and possess effective written and verbal communication skills.  Good programming, numerical modelling, data analysis, HCI/user-studies, spatial/GIS, qualitative analysis skills, an advantage. There is flexibility for the research to follow the candidate’s emerging areas of interest.  It is not expected that candidates will already possess the complete skill-set required to conduct this research, but they must demonstrate a willingness to learn and to collaborate with others.

EU/UK graduate tuition fees are fully funded at £15,000/year, non-EU/UK graduate fees are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year (they need to provide evidence of how they plan to meet the shortfall at application). Tuition is fully funded at £4195. International students must clarify how they will cover the £13,315.

Please make informal contact to Prof. Adrian Friday or Dr. Mike Hazas, ideally sending a CV to discuss possible research directions and your suitability.

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