Studyportals placeholder

Energy, Ph.D.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 36 months
    Duration
University rank #141 (QS) ,
Our Energy programmes allow you to specialise in areas such as bio-energy, novel geo-energy, sustainable power, fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, power electronics, drives and machines, and the sustainable development and use of key resources.

About

We can supervise PhD projects in topics that relate to our main areas of research, which are:

Bio-energy

Our research spans the whole supply chain:

  • growing novel feedstocks (various biomass crops, algae etc)
  • processing feedstocks in novel ways
  • converting feedstocks into fuels and chemical feedstocks
  • developing new engines to use the products

Cockle Park Farm has an innovative anaerobic digestion facility. Work at the farm will develop, integrate and exploit technologies associated with the generation and efficient utilisation of renewable energy from land-based resources, including biomass, biofuel and agricultural residues.

We also develop novel technologies for gasification and pyrolysis. This large multidisciplinary project brings together expertise in agronomy, land use and social science with process technologists and engineers and is complemented by molecular studies on the biology of non-edible oilseeds as sources for production of biodiesel.

Novel geo-energy

New ways of obtaining clean energy from the geosphere is a vital area of research, particularly given current concerns over the limited remaining resources of fossil fuels.

Newcastle University has been awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for its world-renowned Hydrogeochemical Engineering Research and Outreach (HERO) programme. Building on this record of excellence, the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research seeks to place the North East at the forefront of research in ground-source heat pump systems, and other larger-scale sources of essentially carbon-free geothermal energy, and developing more responsible modes of fossil fuel use.

Our fossil fuel research encompasses both the use of a novel microbial process, recently patented by Newcastle University, to convert heavy oil (and, by extension, coal) to methane, and the coupling of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to underground coal gasification (UCG) using directionally drilled boreholes. This hybrid technology (UCG-CCS) is exceptionally well suited to early development in the North East, which still has 75% of its total coal resources in place.

Sustainable power

We undertake fundamental and applied research into various aspects of power generation and energy systems, including:

  • the application of alternative fuels such as hydrogen and biofuels to engines and dual fuel engines
  • domestic combined heat and power (CHP) and combined cooling, heating and power (trigeneration) systems using waste vegetable oil and/or raw inedible oils
  • biowaste methanisation
  • biomass and biowaste combustion, gasification
  • biomass co-combustion with coal in thermal power plants
  • CO2 capture and storage for thermal power systems
  • trigeneration with novel energy storage systems (including the storage of electrical energy, heat and cooling energy)
  • engine and power plant emissions monitoring and reduction technology
  • novel engine configurations such as free-piston engines and the reciprocating Joule cycle engine

Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies

We are recognised as world leaders in hydrogen storage research. Our work covers the entire range of fuel cell technologies, from high-temperature hydrogen cells to low-temperature microbial fuel cells, and addresses some of the complex challenges which are slowing the uptake and impact of fuel cell technology.

Key areas of research include:

  • biomineralisation
  • liquid organic hydrides
  • adsorption onto solid phase, nano-porous metallo-carbon complexes

Sustainable development and use of key resources

Our research in this area has resulted in the development and commercialisation of novel gasifier technology for hydrogen production and subsequent energy generation.

We have developed ways to produce alternative fuels, in particular a novel biodiesel pilot plant that has attracted an Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) AspenTech Innovative Business Practice Award.

Major funding has been awarded for the development of fuel cells for commercial application and this has led to both patent activity and highly-cited research. Newcastle is a key member of the SUPERGEN Fuel Cell Consortium. Significant developments have been made in fuel cell modelling, membrane technology, anode development and catalyst and fuel cell performance improvements.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • More details: There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
    Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 72 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme, doctoral training centres and Research Student Support Team.

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:

    90

    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:

    6.5

    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • A 2:1 honours degree and/or a master's, or international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    30510 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 30510 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    12150 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 12150 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

EU

  • Full time: £4,350 - £12,150
  • Part time: £2,175 - £6,075

International

  • Full time: £22,710 - £30,510

Living costs for Newcastle upon Tyne

  • 560 - 1000 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.

Funding

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.