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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H045155/1
Title: Multidisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training in Energy at Durham University
Principal Investigator: Halliday, Professor DP
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Badley Geoscience Limited DONG Energy E.ON E&P UK Ltd
Northern Powergrid
Department: Engineering and Computing Sciences
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2009 Ends: 30 April 2015 Value (£): 580,004
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioenergy Energy - Marine & Hydropower
Energy - Nuclear Energy Efficiency
Energy Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Durham University is launching a multidisciplinary Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Energy in October 2009 with an initial cohort of 15 postdoctoral students. This proposal seeks funding to enhance their learning experience by providing additional training during an extended programme of study that will broaden their understanding of wider energy issues and provide them with skills that will better equip them to deal with future energy challenges. This proposal describes a 5 year plan that will offer enhanced training opportunities for 63 PhD students. Durham University will fund the CDT Director, however secretarial support is being sought from EPSRC (0.25 FTE). To support the wider activities of the CDT funding for module development and annual events are also requested. Energy is fundamental to society and the provision, security of and access to energy supplies is a key challenge in the 21st century. Shortage of supply, concerns about climate change and national and global policy are driving society to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a low carbon future. Energy is a multidisciplinary topic and in order to remain competitive within this sector, the UK will require a critical mass of versatile individuals trained in a wide range of skills. These individuals will be faced with the many research challenges that this sector presents and will be future decision-makers. The reliance of society on energy means that this sector can offer graduates an exciting, rewarding and secure career choice with many opportunities for diversification. The Durham Energy Institute (DEI) has been recently established at Durham University in response to the multi and interdisciplinary research challenges and opportunities offered by the energy sector. This institute will build upon the existing track record for energy research and promote a step change in inter-disciplinary energy related research activity across the Faculties of Science and Social Sciences/Health. The DEI covers the spectrum of energy research at Durham University and actively encourages research at the boundaries between disciplines. The relatively small and compact nature of the university naturally stimulates interactions between departments and disciplines. The DEI focuses heavily on energy technologies and the societal aspects of energy use and is anticipated to have research income of around 15M per annum. The DEI has a Development Board who meet twice a year. The board comprises senior academics, representatives from the private sector and from local and national government including Ofgem, Fairfield Energy and DONG Energy. This collective represents a large body of expertise and experience which can be used to develop and deliver the multidisciplinary CDT training programme and areas for research.Both UKERC and the ETI are delivering a step change in the ambition and level of UK energy research. They have recognised the importance of enhancing energy research capacity and of undertaking multidisciplinary research. The CDT has been developed in response to these needs and forms an integral part of the DEI. The CDT will produce a skilled and diverse range of researchers equipped to address the challenging research problems that face every aspect of the energy sector. There are no other training programmes that offer such broad training on all aspects of the energy sector. Existing UK energy related CDTs offer training within specific fields e.g. Wind, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Nuclear Fission, E-Futures, Low Carbon Futures and Demand Reduction in the Built Environment. The Durham University CDT will draw upon the expertise currently located within the Anthropology, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Geography, Government and International Affairs, Law, Mathematics and Statistics and Physics Departments and will be truly unique in its multidisciplinary approach.
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