International Society for Industrial Ecology

EPSRC DTP Studentship in Urban Metabolism and Energy Transitions

05 Apr 2017 4:07 PM | Preeth Srinivasaraghavan (Administrator)

Title: EPSRC DTP Studentship in Urban Metabolism and Energy Transitions

Institution: University of Reading - School of Built Environment

Location: Reading, UK

Start date: no later than September 30, 2017

Project Overview:   A taxonomy of cities - using urban typologies to understand the infrastructural dynamics of the UK heat supply

The School of the Built Environment at the University of Reading is currently increasing its research capacity associated with urban-scale sustainability. This doctoral research project involves an exploration of resource requirements in UK cities using the frame of urban metabolism; this involves an investigation of drivers of urban energy, water, material and food demands and their relationship to local infrastructure. First this research will evaluate UK cities, developing a "taxonomy" of urban areas. When a consideration of changing building/technology stocks is made, along with urban form and regional economic profiles, spatially and temporally-explicit urban metabolic models will be developed.  Considerations of taxonomy and these urban metabolism models will then be used in a group of selected UK case study cities to examine infrastructural change for the low-carbon systems of the future, with a focus on the future heat supply. This investigation of the transition to carbon-free heating options will widen our understanding of which options are most suitable in different UK contexts.

The project will involve collaboration with selected UK cities to serve as case studies for the validation of metabolic profiles developed. These will include a diverse set of cases, with varying metabolic needs to serve a variety of economic activities and infrastructure systems. Ultimately the exploration of the interrelationship between these and their temporal and spatial dynamics will enable new insight in planning for regional transitions to low-carbon systems.

Eligibility:   Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level (or equivalent) in a numerate discipline, with ideally a relevant MSc qualification. Experience with computer simulation tools, geospatial analysis, statistical modelling, environmentally-extended input-output modelling, and/or urban metabolism are desirable. Excellent organisational and communication skills are required. A keen interest to engage in urban sustainability research is essential. 

Please note that due to restrictions on the funding, this studentship is for UK/EU applicants only. EU citizens who have not been resident in the UK for longer than 3 years are entitled to fees only.

Funding Details:   The EPSRC funding package cover tuition fees and a stipend over a 3.5 year period.

How to apply:   Further details about this studentship can be obtained from Dr Eugene Mohareb - email:

To apply, see You should access the application form and submit a completed form for a PhD in Construction Management and Engineering here.

When completing the application form, please write ‘DTP UM Studentship ’ in the text box in ‘Section 10 - Funding’. You should also attach a summary, in no more than 500 words, indicating your understanding of the challenges facing cities towards a low-carbon future.

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