Postdoctoral research associate job in modeling of integrated energy systems at the UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM


Engineering department

7th year: – £ 34,304 – £ 40,927 per year
Fixed term – Full time
Duration of contract: 24months
Contractual hours per week: 35
Closing Date: 13-Oct-2021, 06:59:00

Durham University

Durham University is one of the best universities in the world with strengths in the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. We are home to some of the most talented academics and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference in people’s lives.

The university is located in a beautiful historic town where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the largest Romanesque building in Western Europe. Collegiate University, Durham recruits exceptional students from around the world and offers an unparalleled student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is an area steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of urban, suburban and rural residential locations. The University offers a range of benefits, including retirement and childcare benefits, and the University Relocation Officer can assist you with potential tuition requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that helps all members of our University community reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from the international, national and regional communities with whom we work and serve.

The Department

The Engineering Department is still one of the best engineering departments in the UK with an exceptional reputation for excellence in teaching, research and the employability of our students. The department is committed to a research-oriented teaching philosophy at all levels of its taught programs, and is ranked 4th in The Complete University Guide 2022, 4th in The Guardian and 6th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021 in the UK for General Engineering. Ranked 4th in the UK for Research Impact at REF 2014, where 90% of engineering results were rated 3 * or 4 *, this dynamic department is a great place to work. The department’s strategic vision includes a plan to grow over 50% over the next five years, with a significant improvement in the portfolio of research challenges and a desire to enrich our undergraduate, postgraduate and research offering. postgraduate. It’s an exciting time to join this growing department and make your mark.

The department has an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, recognizing our commitment to diversity in STEM universities and reflecting the supportive and positive environment within the department.

The role

Applications are invited for four Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) positions in Integrated Energy Systems Modeling. Candidates will need energy modeling expertise in whole system modeling and analysis and the ability to apply this to exploring the potential of an integrated cooling, heating and heating system. food.

Successful applicants will be expected to perform high quality work in close collaboration with academic colleagues and industry partners to ensure that projects are successfully delivered on time, on budget, and meet all targets. PDRAs will work directly with the principal and co-researchers of the Energy Systems group to contribute to research projects funded by EPSRC.


  • Understand and convey material of a specialized or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that lead to the presentation of research articles in conferences and publications.
  • Prepare and present presentations on research results / activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Publish high-quality results, including papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the guidance of the Principal Investigator or Fellow.
  • Assist in the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • Conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the principal investigator or fellow.
  • Work with the principal investigator or grant holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas of research, develop new research methods and expand the research portfolio.
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the principal investigator or the fellow and proposing creative or innovative solutions.
  • Liaise with research colleagues and establish internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to build relationships for future research collaboration.
  • Plan and manage own research activity, seek resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • Provide training on research techniques / approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
  • Help contribute to support student projects on the use of research modeling methods and techniques.
  • Contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful, inclusive and welcoming work environment where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • Engage in a broader citizenship to support the department and a broader discipline.
  • Engage in continuing professional development by taking relevant training and development courses.

This position is for a fixed term of 2 years – project funding is limited in time to two years.

The incumbent is employed to work on externally funded research projects that will be led by another colleague. While this means that the incumbent will not carry out independent research on their own, they are expected to contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research / adaptation ideas and development of research protocols.

Successful candidates will ideally be in post before October 1, 2021.

How to register

For any informal inquiries, please contact Professor Tony Roskilly ( All requests will be treated in the strictest confidence.

We prefer to receive applications online through the Durham University vacancy site. As part of the application process, you must provide details of 3 references (preferably academic / research) and details of your current supervisor so that we can search for a job reference.

Applications are especially welcome from women and black and ethnic minority applicants, who are under-represented in academic positions at the University.

What to submit

All applicants are invited to submit:

  • A CV and cover letter that detail your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out above;

Next steps

The job evaluation will focus on the candidates’ ability to meet the essential and desirable requirements. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment on a date to be confirmed.

The requirements



  • A good first engineering degree with a high content in thermodynamics, electricity and control (equivalent to a UK 2: I specialized degree or above).
  • A doctorate (or close to submission) in energy systems modeling.

To live

  • Experience in conducting high quality fundamental academic research in modeling integrated energy systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to write documents of a quality comparable to publication in leading journals.
  • Proven ability to present research papers at conferences and communicate complex information to scholars and within the wider academic community.
  • Proof of extensive experience in IT research and development.
  • In-depth understanding of thermodynamics and electrical and control systems.
  • Experience in presenting research results.


  • Strong experience in the application of energy systems modeling.
  • Excellent computer modeling skills, such as using ESL, MATLAB, Simulink or other relevant dynamic simulation software.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively within a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work autonomously on own initiative and within strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Excellent presentation and dissemination skills.
  • High level of organizational skills.
  • Ability to contribute to the planning and management of independent research



  • A master’s degree in engineering

To live

  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with career stage.
  • A history of presentation of research at conferences, seminars or meetings, related to the stage of the career.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience in supervising students regarding the development of their practical / research skills, eg as a demonstrator; supervise students’ projects / practical work.
  • Depending on the project entrusted, experience in conducting high quality fundamental research in:
    • Modeling of electrolyzers and fuel cells
    • Modeling of systems powered by hydrogen
    • Modeling of heating, cooling and energy storage systems
    • Modeling of multi-vector energy systems
    • Simplified modeling methods, e.g. response surface modeling
    • Development of digital twins (needs capture, data preparation, calibration and validation)
    • Modeling of industrial processes, electricity and steam production plants.


  • Solid experience in the modeling and validation of electrochemical systems, including electrolyser and fuel cell systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and manage independent research.

DBS requirement: Not applicable.


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