Skip to navigation Skip to content

PhD opportunities within the Centre for Sustainable Technologies

Below is a list of links for PhD opportunities available for the Centre of Sustainable Technologies (CST).

Other PhD opportunities outside of the main competition are advertised on the University’s website here.

  1. Heat Pumps for Demand Side Management
  2. Water and Energy Nexus in Water Utilities
  3. Techno-economic Modelling and Life Cycle Assessment of Synthetic Fuel Production by Coal, Biomass and Waste Liquefaction
  4. Integration of Heat Pumps and Solar Energy Storage for Underfloor Heating with Optimise Control
  5. Integration of Renewable Energy Technologies and Storage for Heating and Cooling Applications in Buildings
  6. Advanced Multifunctional Façade Components for Energy Efficient Buildings
  7. Thermal Energy Storage to Facilitate Thermal Comfort
  8. Prioritised Modelling of Social Infrastructure Investment
  9. Multi-functional Building Integrated Solar Technologies using Optical Components
  10. The Building Industry in NI post World War Two

Theme One

Theme Title

Heat Pumps for Demand Side Management

Named Supervisors

Prof Neil Hewitt, Dr Ming Jun Huang, Dr Nikhilkumar Shah

Theme Description

Heat Pumps are integral to UK heating and decarbonisation policies. However their working fluids are under environmental pressure due to their global warming impact. Therefore the aim of this research programme is to evaluate alternative working fluids for heat pumps operating in domestic heating applications. These might include R1234ze and R1234yf and the evaluation of performance in both the laboratory and under real conditions is an important part of this project.

Thus the successful candidate will theoretically evaluate new working fluids, the performance of existing components and complete systems, making suggestions and implementing new components – all to gain maximum performance.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

The Centre for Sustainable Technologies has dedicated laboratories for the evaluation of water to water heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and “Terrace Street” – family occupied test houses for the evaluation of domestic scale energy technologies.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

You will have an appropriate engineering or physical sciences degree, having been taught thermodynamics and have a keen interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

Skills include data acquisition, experimental development and national and international networking through a number of world leading projects in this field.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

This project is closely aligned with EU projects H2020 Chess-Setup, EPSRC i-STUTE and EPSRC 4s-DHW and Ulster is the UK lead in IEA Annex 46 on domestic hot water heat pumps.


Theme Two

Theme Title

Water and Energy Nexus in Water Utilities

Named Supervisors

Prof Neil Hewitt, Dr Caterina Brandoni

Theme Description

The project deals with the water and energy nexus in wastewater treatment plants to reduce their carbon footprint, adopting a holistic approach to resource efficiency.

The management of energy in wastewater utilities asks to identify solutions to enhance the potential for energy and resource optimization. Furthermore, the studies developed so far on the wastewater and renewable energy nexus have mainly focused on a single technology for wastewater treatment that can be a source of renewable energy, for example anaerobic digesters. Very few have contributed to the discussion on the integration of different renewable systems and wastewater treatments, and on their management.

The project will investigate how to optimally manage different renewable energy systems in wastewater utilities and how the use of excess electricity from intermittent renewable sources can limit the impact on the grid.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

The researcher will have access to data from water utilities and the regional authority from various locations throughout the EU – NI, Spain, Italy. They will provide data, becoming a “virtual lab”, where the proposed solutions can be tested. Information about real performances of low carbon technologies will be collected in laboratories from the Centre for Sustainable Technology at Ulster University.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

Basic Thermodynamics, Instrumentation, Measurement, Data Acquisition, Operations research, knowledge of MATLAB/SIMULINK environment. Degree in Engineering or Physical sciences.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

In addition to technology understanding, sizing and practical evaluation, the successful student will also engaged with techno-economic analysis and potentially, Life Cycle Analysis.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

International links with research institutes established and potential for using their facility. Possibility of spending from 1 to 3 months in water utilities in EU. Potential involvement with water and energy manufacturers.


Theme Three

Theme Title

Techno-economic Modelling and Life Cycle Assessment of Synthetic Fuel Production by Coal, Biomass and Waste Liquefaction

Named Supervisors

Dr Ye Huang, Dr Caterina Brandoni and Prof Neil Hewitt

Theme Description

The world will need greatly increased energy supply in the near future, especially in developing countries due to the rapid growth of economies. Moreover, global increasing demand for liquid fuels (i.e. petrol and diesel) faces dramatic tightening of crude oil reservoirs, resulting in a strong rise in fuel prices. It is greatly desired that liquid fuels derived from crude oil can be replaced by synthetic fuels. The main goal of the proposed project is to improve the viability and environmental performance of coal, biomass and waste liquefaction processes together with upgrading routes for the production of high quality fuels. The main objectives are to conduct a comprehensive energetic, economic and environmental evaluation of the coal, biomass and waste liquefaction processes based on selected conversion options, to perform an assessment of their environmental performance via life cycle analysis and to quantify any potential CO2 saving opportunities

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

As we are working on DirectCoalLiq project (an on-going EU RFSC project) we are able to access the pilot plant test database, including specification, technical data and economics. On the other hand the chemical plant modelling software ECLIPSE developed by the University of Ulster and validated through many national and international projects will be utilised to carry out the techno-economic assessment of the selected plants.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

Basic thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and engineering economics, knowledge of energy engineering, chemical engineering processes and clean coal technologies.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

In addition to process modelling and simulation, the successful candidate will also engaged with techno-economic analysis and Life Cycle Analysis.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

International links with research institutes established and potential for using their facility.


Theme Four

Theme Title

Integration of Heat Pumps and Solar Energy Storage for Underfloor Heating with Optimise Control

Named Supervisors

Dr Ming Jun Huang, Prof Neil Hewitt

Theme Description

Heat Pumps are integral to UK heating and decarbonisation policies. However their working fluids are under environmental pressure due to their global warming impact. Therefore the aim of this research programme is to evaluate alternative working fluids for heat pumps operating in domestic heating applications. These might include R1234ze and R1234yf and the evaluation of performance in both the laboratory and under real conditions is an important part of this project.

The aim of this research programme is to explore how to utilise Renewable Energy to improve energy usage in Building cost effectively and improve the quality of indoor environment. Heat Pump (HP) is a high energy efficient renewable energy device, but has electricity consumption which may add extra burden to grid network. Solar energy is an intermittent source, that is, the sun is not shining all the time in a given location. Conversely, sometimes more energy is collected by a solar energy system than is needed for buildings at that time. Therefore efficient to collect solar energy and combine with HP to store it for underfloor heating during off peak time has potentials to improve renewable energy usage and indoor environment quality. Thermal mass plays an important role in heat retain, how to optimise the energy management along with thermal mass material selection will be explored.

Thus the successful candidate will theoretically and experimentally evaluate the performance of combined heat pump, solar collector for underfloor heating system. Optimise operation strategies for heating supply.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

The Centre for Sustainable Technologies has dedicated laboratories for the evaluation of water to water heat pumps, air to water heat pumps and “Terrace Street” – family occupied test houses for the evaluation of domestic scale energy technologies.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

You will have an appropriate engineering or physical sciences degree, having been taught thermodynamics and have a keen interest in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

Skills include data acquisition, experimental development and national and international networking through a number of world leading projects in this field.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

This project is closely aligned with EU projects H2020 Chess-Setup, EPSRC i-STUTE and EPSRC 4s-DHW and Ulster is the UK lead in IEA Annex 46 on domestic hot water heat pumps.


Theme Five

Theme Title

Integration of Renewable Energy Technologies and Storage for Heating and Cooling Applications in Buildings

Named Supervisors

Dr Jayanta Mondol, Dr Mervyn Smyth, Dr Aggelos Zacharopoulos

Theme Description

53% of energy consumed in the EU is imported and buildings account for 40% of the total primary energy requirements in the EU. Concomitantly, there is a rapid increase in demands for heating and cooling of buildings during the day and which coincides with peak grid loading in many countries. Concomitantly, the wide scale deployment of PV generators presents an opportunity particularly the during summer months to utilise by-product solar heat and make solar cooling and hearting more attractive. The proposed project would utilise solar energy resources and improve the overall efficiency of building cooling and heating requirements by combining several separate, distributed services into one uniform simple packaged system. A packaged system with common components would permit a reduction in complexity and improved reliability through synergies of a modular system. The benefits of a reliable combined solar cooling and heating system will include a reduction in peak electricity demand, better payback period, and associated GHG emissions for buildings

The proposed project comprises of the following activities:

  • Integration of renewable technologies and storage for buildings
  • Design and optimisation of system components and performance
  • Experimental characterisation and performance monitoring of the system
  • Theoretical and/or computational modelling
  • Techno/economic/socio-analysis

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

The project will be based at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST), Ulster University. Equipment, facilities and materials for prototype fabrication are all available in-house. Consumables will be covered from existing consultancy funds owned by the supervisors. Indoor experimentation will be carried out under the CST solar simulator facility. Outdoor experimentation will be carried out in CST. For outdoor testing in heat dominated climates established PhD Erasmus collaborations with the Universities or Patras (Greece), Napoli (Italy), Limassol (Cyprus) and Lleida (Spain) can be utilised. Computer modelling will be carried out using existing software tools.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

The applicant will need to have a solid science, engineering or technology background to be able to carry out the research project. A minimum of 2:1 (or equivalent) undergraduate qualification in one of these disciplines is required. A relevant Master’s level qualification will be considered favourably.

The following knowledge, experience or skills are suitable for the project:

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of building integrated renewables specially solar technologies and energy storage
  • Fabrication skills
  • Experimental testing in a laboratory environment
  • Installation of monitoring equipment
  • Building energy modelling or modelling of solar energy systems
  • Presentation of research findings

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

The Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) is a multidisciplinary research group, set within the School of the Built Environment. This project combines different areas of research such as solar energy, heat pump, storage, demand side management and will require inter-disciplinary interaction with the school and wider university, requiring input from building services engineering (mechanical and electrical), structural engineering, façade engineering, architecture and economics. The successful applicant will be required to be competent across a diverse range of disciplines including engineering design, computation analysis, experimental evaluation and fabrication and assembly techniques, directly drawing on the wide range of knowledge and skills sets available at Ulster.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

Significant opportunities for networking and career development exist for the PhD candidate through participation in national and international conference, workshops and engagement with industry professionals. Existing Erasmus collaborations with the University of Patras (Greece) and University of Lleida (Spain) will also allow the future mobility of the PhD candidate.


Theme Six

Theme Title

Advanced multifunctional Façade Components for Energy Efficient Buildings

Named Supervisors

Dr Trevor Hyde, Dr Farid Arya

Theme Description

The development of energy efficient glazed facades is seen as key for the delivery of new nearly zero energy buildings and for retrofitting existing buildings to meet future energy performance standards thereby contributing to legislative carbon reduction targets. The Centre for Sustainable Technologies welcomes PhD projects that fall within this theme.

The building façade plays a critical role in controlling the overall energy performance of the building. Hence facade technologies which act as smart multifunction components bringing together the properties of excellent thermal insulation, renewable energy harvesting and daylight control are required. Potential solutions may include the use of vacuum technology for insulation, renewables for energy harvesting and novel materials or coatings for light control. The proposed solutions should have applications in a range of climates and be applicable for both new and existing buildings including those where the heritage values of the building must be maintained. The architectural integration and user acceptance of developed components must be considered. Areas such as weight reduction, ease of installation and integration (particularly for building retrofitting), and light transmission while meeting the building standards and conservation considerations for heritage buildings are essential considerations for new products and systems.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

It is anticipated the research project will involve a combination of computer simulation work, practical laboratory development and characterisation and potentially field trialling. An extensive range of fabrication and characterisation facilities are available including vacuum ovens, furnaces and pumping systems, ultrasonic cleaning and soldering equipment, thermal and optical characterisation equipment including a guarded hotbox calorimeter, heat flow meter, thermal manikin, solar simulator, infrared thermography and stress analysis equipment. Proprietary software such as Abaqus and Matlab will be used for system design and simulation. Other facilities will include the use of onsite terraced test houses for field trialling.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

Based on a strong analytical and practical experimental research or industrial background. Experience is required in designing and undertaking an experimental test campaign in the areas of glazed façade systems, solar or renewable energy technologies for energy efficient buildings. Knowledge of relevant instrumentation eg for thermal and stress measurement/analysis including data acquisition systems is required along with experience of vacuum science and technology. Experience in the use of computer simulation software for analysing the thermal and mechanical performance of building components is also required.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

This project has the potential for interdisciplinary research across the areas of advanced glazing/façade systems, solar engineering, renewable technologies and architectural design and integration. The project will have applications relating to the development of new nearly zero energy buildings and retrofitting existing buildings including historic buildings. The transferable skills which would be developed include computer modelling skills using proprietary software such as Abaqus or Matlab, designing and undertaking an experimental test campaign, sensor and data acquisition skills, vacuum science knowledge, energy efficiency, and technical writing skills.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

The research project will have significant opportunities for international networking and Industry interaction through participation of the research group on externally funded International research projects involving Universities and Industry from across Europe, US, India and Australia. This could include potential for a short term placement in collaborating institutes. The potential student would also be encouraged to present research findings at national and international conferences and trade exhibitions. The research team work closely with local industry on the development of concepts for energy efficient buildings and have undertaken collaborative research with local, national and international industrial partners and with other research and academic institutes.


Theme Seven

Theme Title

Thermal Energy Storage to Facilitate Thermal Comfort

Named Supervisors

Professor Phillip Griffiths, Dr Ming Huang

Theme Description

Thermal Comfort is essential for the health and well-being of humans in the built environment.  Grigg et al state that “energy efficient building is defined as one which provides the specified indoor environment for the least use of energy” (1997).  Climate change, the use of buildings for activities not envisaged when designed, poorly designed buildings and human behaviour cause thermal discomfort in buildings.  One response is to retrofit the building with air conditioning.

Phase change materials (PCM) have been proved to reduce rise of temperatures in buildings through latent energy heat storage. Wallboards have been shown to slow the rise of air temperatures in offices so that during the working day upper limit thresholds are not breached.  However, such installations require the cooling of offices at night. This may not be possible if the temperature reduction at night is below that of the solidification temperature of the PCM.  This research proposal seeks to prove whether portable devices can be used to cool the environment of a desk, then at night be moved to a place where it can be recharged for use the following day.

  • 1. P F Grigg, S A Moss and A B Birtles, 1997, Assessing non-domestic building design using an energy performance index method, CIBSE National Conference Proceedings, Vol 1, 134-140.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

This will require access to a temperature controlled laboratory, thermal comfort test equipment and a thermal comfort mannequin. Also desktop PCM devices will need to be fabricated – possibly using 3-d printers.  2-3d CFD modelling will be required to understand fluid flow and the charging and discharging of the PCM facilities.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

A student with a background in mechanical engineering, building services engineering and/or physics. CFD skills will be required. If the student does not have these skills, then they will need to be trained. Experience of an experimental laboratory is desirable.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

Interdisciplinary research options: materials for PCMs, product design.

Transferable skills: CFD modelling, experimental analysis, MATLAB.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

INPATH-TES project,  IEA SHC Task 42 network.


Theme Eight

Theme Title

Prioritised Modelling of Social Infrastructure Investment

Named Supervisors

Professor Philip Griffiths, Dr Sharon McClements

Theme Description

Social infrastructure provision is integral to our functioning as a society. Social infrastructure services and facilities encompasses municipal, housing, education, health, justice and recreational assets. There are both economic and social benefits which can be accrued from greater investment into social infrastructure services and facilities. These benefits include, improved education, increased life expectancy, stronger communities, higher standard of living. There is, however, a substantial knowledge gap in prioritising social infrastructure investment.

The outcomes of this PhD will therefore show the much wider tacit benefits of social infrastructure and by doing so this research will attempt to develop a strategically prioritised model of social infrastructure investment.  This strategically prioritised model of investment could provide Government with a data driven tool that assists in the social infrastructure investment decision making process and could help Government commit to a social infrastructure pipeline. This is in line with the Programme for Government.  A clear investment pipeline also provides a transparent and accountable opportunities for private sector funders. This research seeks to make a unique contribution to knowledge pertaining to the economic and social benefits which can be accrued from greater investment into social infrastructure, so as to deliver resilient, sustainable and healthy communities.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

This is a desk-based research project. Questionnaires will be required and SPSS.  Access to Government records and databases – financial – IJ.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

Any student from business, economic, geography, surveying, accountancy. This is not about social policy.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

This has cross-overs with Real Estate, Neil Gibson’s Economic Research Centre.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

COBRA, ARCOM, also has international aspects as the subject is on the rise internationally.


Theme Nine

Theme Title

Multi-functional Building Integrated Solar Technologies using Optical Components

Named Supervisors

Dr Aggelos Zacharopoulos, Dr Mervyn Smyth and Dr Jayanta Mondol

Theme Description

Direct utilisation of renewable energy sources such as solar in buildings is key for achieving UK, Irish and European government policy priorities aimed at reducing CO2 emissions to control global warming. Optical components such concentrators can offer a range of advantages to solar energy systems integrated onto building envelopes which include effective daylight control, demand to resource availability match and cost savings.

The proposed project should focus on the development of solar thermal/PV systems with optical components (Compound Parabolic, V-trough, Fresnel or other geometries) designed for building integration. They should offer seamless building integration, performance and cost effectiveness. An investigation into suitable storage options should also form part of the project. The functionality of the systems should not be confined to energy generation but they should have the potential to contribute to other building needs such as daylighting and thermal insulation.

The nature of the project should be applied and should encompass one or more of the following activities:

  • design and fabrication of prototypes
  • experimental characterisation
  • real time monitoring and evaluation
  • theoretical and/or computational modelling
  • techno/economic/socio-analysis

It is envisaged that the majority of work will be conducted at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies but where appropriate work may be conducted in other European research centres through existing collaboration links.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

The project will be based at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST), University of Ulster. Equipment, facilities and materials for prototype fabrication are all available in-house. Consumables will be covered from existing consultancy funds owned by the supervisors. Indoor experimentation will be carried out under the CST solar simulator facility. Outdoor experimentation will be carried out in CST. For outdoor testing in heat dominated climates established PhD Erasmus collaborations with the Universities or Patras (Greece), Napoli (Italy), Limassol (Cyprus) and Lleida (Spain) can be utilised. Computer modelling will be carried out using existing software tools.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

The applicant will need to have a solid science, engineering or technology background to be able to carry out the research project. A minimum of 2:1 (or equivalent) undergraduate qualification in one of these disciplines is required. A relevant Master’s level qualification will be considered favourably.

The following knowledge, experience or skills would be suitable for the project:

  • Solar optical/concentrating systems and methodologies
  • Properties and operation of solar energy techniques
  • Building integrated renewables
  • Fabrication skills
  • Experimental testing in a laboratory environment
  • Installation of monitoring equipment
  • Building energy modelling or modelling of solar energy systems
  • Presentation of research findings

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

The Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) is a multidisciplinary research group, set within the School of the Built Environment. The Multi-functional building integrated solar technologies using optical components will require inter-disciplinary interaction with the school and wider university, requiring input from building services engineering (mechanical and electrical), structural engineering, façade engineering, architecture and economics. The successful applicant will be required to be competent across a diverse range of disciplines including engineering design, computation analysis, experimental evaluation and fabrication and assembly techniques, directly drawing on the wide range of knowledge and skills sets available at Ulster.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

The proposed project will form part of a funded EU COST Action (number: TU1205) on Building Integration of Solar Thermal Systems (BISTS) and the Senergy Demonstrator project which offers a great opportunity for industry interaction. Significant opportunities for networking and career development exist for the PhD candidate through the planned COST Action activities which include meetings between the Action participants, training schools, international conferences, workshops and engagement with industry professionals. Existing Erasmus collaborations with the University of Patras (Greece) and University of Lleida (Spain) will also allow the future mobility of the PhD candidate.


Theme Ten

Theme Title

The building industry in Northern Ireland post World War II

Named Supervisors

Dr Trevor Hyde, Dr Tanja Poppelreuter, Dr Karen Davison

Theme Description

This project seeks to record and analyse building processes that had been ubiquitous in the building industries until broad changes and modern construction methods such as prefabrication fostered wide-ranging changes. Since knowledge about these building processes was usually gained at the building site and not recorded in trade publications or by other means, this knowledge was held by practitioners only.

This project will analyse traditional building processes, many unique to Ireland, through extensive interviews with practitioners who were active between the 1950s and 1970s. By this means an oral architectural history will be established that will on one hand inform conservation architects in their current practice while on the other hand, detail the impact external events such as the Troubles had on the building industry. This would not be concerned with political agendas, but the impact it had on everyday work. How did the industry operate in a climate of bomb scares, blackmail, materials shortages, murders, booby traps and constant disruption?

The methodology would focus on the collection of primary information in the form of oral interviews with people who worked in the field at the time. The emphasis in the interviews would be on social history as recorded in the words of people themselves. The interviews would form the basis of analysis to draw out the type and extent of changes, but they would also form a valuable archive in their own right.

Outline of the Research Environment in which this project will take place e.g. facilities, equipment etc.

Interviewees will be identified with the help of the RSUA (Royal Society of Ulster Architects) and the HBC (Historic Buildings Council) and secondary research can be conducted in the Newspaper Library of the Belfast Public Library as well as with material held at PRONI (Public Record Office Northern Ireland). The project will benefit from cross RI collaboration between BERI and RIAD providing a broad base of experience in Architectural history and Construction techniques. Dr Poppelreuter is a member of the research cluster Art and Context within RIAD which will provide opportunities to present findings in front of peers at a regular basis.

Skills required from the applicant: In delivery of this theme you will have an appropriate degree in (subject discipline) and possibly a relevant postgraduate qualification. The skills you bring will be...

Experience on construction sites and in architectural practice is essential for this project. Knowledge in conservation architecture as well as architectural heritage is also an important requirement for this project. Experience of traditional building techniques, materials and skills will also be required. The applicant should have a degree in architecture and experience in architectural conservation.

Describe the potential Interdisciplinary Research Options and/or Transferrable Skills that arise from the intended PhD research activity

The supervisors have expertise in construction and building surveying as well as in the history and theory of architecture. The nature of this project is interdisciplinary at its core as it seeks to establish an oral history as well as a record of building methods that are at risk of being lost. The outcome will be a valuable tool for contemporary conservation architects and allied professionals working in the industry and it will add historical knowledge about the impact of political unrest on the building industry.

Outline the potential opportunities for International Networking and Industry Interaction that may enhance the PhD researchers' future mobility

Upon completion of this project, the candidate will have established a methodology with which to gather oral history, understand changes in the building industry and analyse these within a particular political and social climate. Such a methodology will be adaptable and applicable to other places and situations and will therefore enable the candidate to apply this methodology elsewhere. There will be opportunity for significant Industry engagement and interaction through the collection of primary data.