Postgraduate research opportunities

Clean energy technologies for a rapidly developing world

To enhance equitable energy access and reduce global emissions from energy generation, this project will focus on developing a clean energy technology based on waste utilisation and thermochemical conversion (e.g. gasification, combustion, pyrolysis or hybrid) approaches.

Number of places



3 March 2021


3 years


Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in relevant engineering (e.g. chemical engineering, process engineering, mechanical engineering, energy engineering) or related science discipline and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research. Knowledge and research experiences in the following areas are preferred: energy engineering, thermal engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering.

Project Details

The world’s population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, 30% higher than current estimates. Most of the growth is expected to occur in emerging and developing countries, where energy access remains a daunting challenge. While the number of people gaining access to electricity has increased in recent years, there are still about 3 billion people that are without electricity and using polluting energy sources for cooking. To ensure equitable access and reduce global emissions from energy generation, there is a need to accelerate the development of clean energy technologies and transition to cleaner fuels.

This project will explore conceptual, theoretical, and experimental approaches in biomass utilisation and thermochemical conversion (e.g. gasification, combustion, pyrolysis or hybrid approaches) in the development of innovative clean energy solutions and/or processes that can leapfrog energy-deficient, fossil-based countries to a clean, zero-carbon economy. This relies on integrated energy processes for multi-generation of beneficial outputs, whose end products have environmental value and circular economy approaches for resource recovery. A parametric techno-economic and environmental assessment will be carried out to assess the feasibility of the technology.

Project outcomes are expected to contribute to improving energy security, reducing the dependency on fossil fuels, diversifying fuel supply, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This can have a considerable impact on health, well-being, the livelihood of people, particularly rural households.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Information about the host department can be found by visiting:

Funding Details

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates may be considered for a University scholarship.

Contact us

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ


How to apply

Apply for this project here – please quote the project title in your application.

During the application you'll be asked for the following information and evidence uploaded to the application:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you are not from a majority English-speaking country as recognised by UKVI
  • two references, one of which must be academic. Please see our guidance on referees
  • funding or scholarship information
  • international students must declare any previous UK study

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Useful resources

Your application and offer

Application System Guide

Fees and funding