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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Durham University receives PhD funding to strengthen energy research and skills investment in the North of England.

(4 February 2019)

Durham University’s Energy Institute are expanding their research and training activities after successfully receiving funding for two new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT). These Awards see Durham and its partners developing the pipeline of energy talent and expertise in the region, driving the transition to our low carbon economy.

Durham Energy Institute Director, Professor Jon Gluyas said: “I am absolutely delighted to learn that Durham University's Energy Institute has been awarded the two doctoral training centres along with our partners in northern and eastern England. This award enables us to continue to deliver well trained, high quality engineers and scientists into the regional, national and international energy markets. They are our future"

The Awards, with a total worth of £10.7 Million were announced today (4th February 2019) at the EPSRC CDT launch event at The Stock Exchange in London. The Centres will create a host of opportunities in energy research for over 130 post-graduate PhD students.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities will be known as ReNU. It will train 65 PhD students across the three universities over the next five years. Dr Chris Groves is leading the ReNU CDT at Durham University, undertaking research to understand how the movement of electrical current on the nano-scale influences the performance of solar cells. He said: “De-carbonisation of energy is one of the most fundamental challenges facing our society. Huge changes in how we generate, transport, store and use energy are needed to meet the expectations of the Paris agreement. We are excited to be playing a leading role in training the next-generation of engineers, chemists, physicists and materials scientists who will perform the research that enables this transition.”

Also awarded is the AURA CDT in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment, which involves partners in Durham, Hull, Sheffield and Newcastle and will enable 70 post graduate researchers to develop their skills in environment, engineering and energy. The CDT research, which is focused on offshore wind and the low carbon economy, integrates engineering and the environment and will be centred on the Humber, which is the global leader for current and future offshore wind development.

Professor Simon Hogg, Ørsted Chair in Renewable Energy at Durham University said, “Offshore wind power is now making a substantial contribution to UK electricity supply. Projects are in the pipeline to grow this to 30GW by 2030, by developing the UK’s Round 3 sites. These are GW scale wind farms which will consist of hundreds of wind turbines, many more than a hundred miles from shore. The focus of this CDT is to train researchers and innovators with a particular focus on the environmental and systems level integration of offshore wind power into low-carbon electricity networks”.

The University also received funding for a further 2 Centres in the areas of Soft matter and industrial innovation (SOFI), for which it is the lead partner and in Molecular science for medicine.

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