Engineering: Energy and Environment

Energy and Environment is a research theme within which you can focus your studies as part of our suite of Engineering research programmes (MPhil, PhD).

One of the School’s three research themes is that of Energy and Environment, which aims to advance energy technology and play a key role in addressing the increasing demand for sustainable and low carbon technologies, while reducing environmental impact and ensuring a sustainable environment.

It is clear that the transformation and use of energy will become increasingly constrained by the need to reduce CO2 emissions. The Committee on Climate Change now advocates an 80% reduction by 2050 and effective de-carbonisation of the power sector by 2030. The UK Government has identified the worldwide market for low carbon goods and services to be US $3 trillion and that there will be thousands of new jobs created in the UK within this sector in the future.

Engineers at Cardiff School of Engineering are responding to this radical transformation of the economy.


Administrative contact(s)

Postgraduate Research Admissions, School of Engineering

Research work carried out under the Energy theme is innovative and pioneering, with a mission to advance energy technology in the global quest for a sustainable energy economy. The aim of the Energy theme is to contribute both to the longer term creation of knowledge, but also to analyse and understand what is necessary to encourage the adoption of existing low carbon technologies that have yet to be deployed widely.

Research in this theme also plays a vital role in reducing environmental impact and increasing sustainable practices in a wide range of areas, including construction, fuel, energy, waste disposal, water quality and flood protection. The combination of these fields represents a multidisciplinary approach to some of the biggest challenges that face a society moving towards more environmental awareness and increased need for sustainability.

To address the different aspects of energy and environmental research, the Energy and Environment theme is divided into seven groups with specialised research interests; the Geo-environmental Research Centre (GRC), the Hydroenvironmental Research Centre, and the BRE Centre for Sustainable Construction, the Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS), the Advanced High Voltage Engineering Research Centre (AHIVE), the Wolfson Centre for Magnetics and the Centre for Research into Energy, Waste and the Environment (CREWE).

Research areas

Research areas in this theme include:

  • Grid Integration of Renewable Energy Sources
  • Smart Grids
  • Energy Assessment and Modelling
  • Energy Inrastructure
  • Low Carbon Heat and Power Generation
  • Energy, Risk and Environmental Management
  • Alternative Transport Fuels and Technologies
  • Complex Fluid and Thermal Systems
  • Thermoelectrical Materials and Heat Recovery
  • Insulation Sysytems
  • Power Systems Transients
  • Overvoltage Protection and Electrical Compact Earthing Systems
  • Earthing and Probablistic Risk Assessment of Electrical Systems
  • Power Magnetics
  • Numerical and laboratory modelling of hydrodynamic processes in aquatic basins
  • Water quality and contaminant processes in estuarine, coastal and riverine basins
  • Development of hydroinformatics tools for flood forecasting and ‘predict and protect’ strategies for compliance with EU directives
  • High level nuclear waste disposal repositories
  • Thermo/hydro/mechanical behaviour of unsaturated soil
  • Energy losses from buildings to the ground
  • Risk assessment and risk management
  • Contaminated land, land regeneration and remediation
  • Risk and hazard assessment, mitigation and impact within the energy sector
  • Process optimisation in solid waste management
  • Liquid effluent characterisation and treatment processes
  • Health and environmental effects of ultra fine particulates and gases
  • Strategic planning and management.

Resources and facilities

The School possesses the latest in large scale facilities to enable it to respond to the global needs of energy research including a Power System Simulator (PSS), a unique facility which can be used to gain knowledge-based learning and skills-based training in all aspects of electrical power systems, a well-equipped high voltage laboratory with several transformers (up to 300kV); dc supplies (up to 100kV); impulse generators (up to 400kV or 20kA); a pollution test chamber with IEC507 power supply and a sun ageing chamber; and an inclines-plane text facility.

In addition, there is a well-equipped outdoor test site, state-of-the-art thermal and electrical property characterisation systems, and a range of experimental facilities which are utilised to complement modelling studies, including combustion bombs, environmental chambers and extensive environmental analysis laboratories. A large scale Gas Turbine Research Centre, situated off-site, also forms part of the School's large scale facilities.


We are inviting applications to a number of self-funded PhD projects in various fields of study. These projects are open to UK/EU and overseas students.

Prospective applicants are also welcome to contact any member of academic staff working in their area of interest to discuss ideas for their own proposed research project.

Geo-environmental Engineering

Self-healing of plant-stabilised geotechnical structures.

Numerical modelling of multiphase flows

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Biomedical smart fabric wearable devices

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Intelligent remote monitoring of knee implants

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Towards Printing and Packing Energy Storage Devices

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Resilient Materials for Life - Self-confining concrete

The aim of this PhD is to develop the concept of using shape memory polymer (SMP) tendons for the self-prestressing and self-healing of concrete elements.

Numerical modelling of three-dimensional multiphase flows

This PhD project will focus on research in the areas of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for multiphase flows in environmental and industrial applications

Numerical Simulations of Local Scour around Hydraulic Structures

The objective of this research project is to reveal the immediate link between the turbulent hydrodynamics and the occurrence of local erosion (scour) around hydraulic structures, in particular bridge scour.

Modelling infiltration and runoff erosion of hydrophobic soils

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Transport of alternative gases using existing pipeline networks

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Modelling Particles/Fibres Suspended Material Flow for Industrial Applications

Particles/fibres suspended material flow is encountered in many disciplines of science and engineering.

Phytoremediation of light non-aqueous phase liquids in soils

Phytoremediation uses natural processes in plants to remove or destroy harmful contamination in soils.

Development of Graphene/ceramic composites with damage self-monitoring capabilities

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

QUASI-METAMATERIALS: quasicrystalline metamaterial concepts for advanced engineering applications

A microstructured quasicrystalline (or quasiperiodic) material is constructed combining basic unit cells with a lack of perfect periodicity.

Designing 3D printed materials with novel thermo-mechanical properties

Cellular materials are light in weight and can be designed to have different types of desired thermo-mechanical properties.

Radiomics as an imaging biomarker in Head and Neck cancer

Head and neck (H&N) cancer is the sixth most common tumour worldwide. In the curative setting, radiation therapy (RT) is a commonly used treatment for H&N cancer.

Bio-geotechnical engineering of natural and engineered slopes using biofilm

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.

Advanced electroactive soft material devices: smart actuation and energy harvesting

Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are a class of soft electroactive materials that can be exploited for large strain electrical-induced actuation.

Effect of soil biofilm on soil mechanical and hydrological behaviour

The impact of biofilms on mechanical and hydraulic behaviour of soil structures is only now beginning to be thoroughly explored through work at Cardiff and elsewhere.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation as a Safe and Effective Brain Stimulation Tool

This is a fully-funded EPSRC project in engineering, focusing on energy and environment.


There are currently no funding opportunities available.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the Engineering programme.

View programme
Meet us at our Information Fair on 22 February 2018.

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