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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.


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Tuition fees

Students from the UK

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Students from the rest of the world (international)

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Programme information

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

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See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

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