Research Associate (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

University of Strathclyde

Glasgow, UK 🇬🇧

Faculty: Faculty of Engineering

Department/School: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Staff Category: Research

Type of Employment: Fixed-term

Working Hours: Full-time

Salary range: £33,309 – £34,304 per annum

FTE: 1 (35 hours per week)

Term: Fixed (18 months full-time or 24 months part-time)

Closing date: Friday, 8 July 2022

We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate for the EPSRC funded GigaWatt-Hour Subsurface Thermal Energy storAge: Engineered structures and legacy Mine shafts: STEaM. Civil and Environmental Engineering is a highly multidisciplinary department with a growing portfolio of research grants. The STEaM project brings together expertise in civil engineering, geomechanics, geochemistry and energy systems, from University of Strathclyde, the University of Edinburgh and 9 project partners. STEaM seeks to convert a far higher proportion of excess electricity into heat, providing flexibility and short term, interseasonal and multi-year storage. Pre-existing subsurface infrastructure is targeted to provide GWhrs of mine shaft thermal energy storage at lower cost and disruption. For safe and reliable heat storage, it is important to determine the hydrogeological and thermal characteristics of the flooded shaft, the wider mine system it is connected to, and the surrounding Carboniferous Coal Measures which play host to the mined void spaces.

The Research Associate will perform a detailed characterisation of the demonstration site using archived information from project partners and collection of new field data. You will perform lab analyses and simulation studies to determine the thermal properties of shaft-surrounding rock types and hydrogeochemical history of the mine water resource. You will create a national mine shaft inventory to evaluate the magnitude and geographical spread of the thermal storage opportunity and assess spatial relationships with curtailed wind supply and heat demand. Using legacy information, you will develop up to five separate case studies to evaluate variability in shaft architecture, construction and abandonment state and validate modelling activities in other work packages. You will also help lead development of best practice technical guidance for mineshaft thermal energy storage site appraisal and provide recommendations for preparation of active mines for post closure storage in regions around the world who are pursuing a low-carbon green energy transition.

You should be able to work both independently and collaboratively. Research will be written up for publication in collaboration with colleagues, and results disseminated via peer reviewed journal publications and presentation at conferences. You will join external networks to share information and ideas, inform the development of research objectives and to identify potential sources of funding.

To be considered for the role, you will be educated to a minimum of PhD level in an appropriate discipline, e.g., Geology, Earth Sciences, Hydrogeology, or cognate discipline. You will have sufficient breadth or depth of knowledge in groundwater resources, thermogeology, geochemistry, and geographical information systems and be developing the capacity to conduct individual research work, to disseminate results and to prepare research proposals. You will have an ability to plan and organise your own workload effectively and an ability to work within a team environment. You will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to listen, engage and persuade, and to present complex information in an accessible way to a range of audiences.

Informal enquiries about the post can be directed to Dr Neil Burnside, Chancellor’s Fellow, at [email protected].

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IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development