This opportunity is now closed.

Funded PhD Opportunity

Visualisation and Immersive technology to improve stakeholder participation in net Zero Emission Buildings and Neighbourhoods (ZEN) in Smart Cities

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Summary

The objective of this PhD is to develop visualisation methods including User Interface i.e. dashboards, and other immersive technologies using diverse media, such as (but not limited to) Virtual reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), to support the evaluation of net zero emission neighborhood (ZEN) design concepts with respect to greenhouse gas emissions and potential environmental impacts.

The aim is to explore how these emerging technologies can help involve and improve participation from interdisciplinary groups involved in the net ZEN design process including diverse stakeholders, such as, politicians, municipality planners, designplanning practitioners, and citizens. Immersive technologies that enable users to truly immerse themselves, explore and interact with the real environment onsite in real ZEN pilot projects will be investigated.

Visualisation and immersive environments are instrumental to bridging the gap between design and emissions and transforming the way we communicate complex data in an interactive, user friendly way to make it easier for diverse stakeholders to understand and to participate in the design process which would lead to reduced GHG emissions both in operation, monitoring and in the design of ZENs.

This project will build upon the work already conducted by Houlihan Wiberg et al. in this area, including the dynamic integration of the ZEB tool with Revit BIM using a Dynamo plugin and an integrated visual approach using Virtual Reality (VR). A proof of concept ZEN dashboard is also available for further development.

This integrated and visual approach provides holistic, dynamic and visual feedback on design choices, such as, changes in form and orientation, emissions from energy use and life cycle GHG emissions attributable to the materials used in buildings. Is advanced visual communication a possible strategy to bridge the gap between ZEN research and design and lead to improved diverse stakeholder participation? How can a digital approach lead to reduced GHG emissions through better design, build, operate, and integrate the built environment? To what extent can ICT provide a means to integrate science-based knowledge on GHG emissions (and other KPIs) early and throughout the design process?   How can existing extended reality (XR) technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, and User Interfaces (UI) be adapted to provide visualise feedback?


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Week beginning 9 March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Professor Aoife Houlihan Wiberg


Other supervisors

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