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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Energy Flexibility Demand Modelling
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF34142

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 04/01/2021

Job live date: 27/11/2020

Salary: £30,942 to £35,845 per annum

Employment type: AR-Research

Department: School of the Built Environment

Division: Construction Management & Engineering

Hours per week: 1.00FTE

Employment Basis/Type: Full-time, Fixed-term for up to 33 months

An exciting opportunity to join a project at the forefront of research into Energy Demand Flexibility Modelling has become available. We are looking for a post-doctoral research associate to join our research team for up to 33 months, looking at energy-demand and network operation implications of grid management and energy technology integration. With an initial focus on local authority trials of energy management systems (including controlled charging of electric vehicles) the research will progress to detailed examination of a novel thermal storage technology. The project will look at control technology and thermal storage technology performance in relation to energy demand patterns at different scales.

This is a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate (PDRA) position on modelling energy network integration of demand-side technologies.  Modelling will be carried out in relation to (i) grid-integration of demand control technology and (ii) storage technology (specifically a novel thermal storage technology). The post is offered by the School of the Built Environment, University of Reading – under Department of Transport and EPSRC funded projects. The candidate will benefit from being part of a wider research community both within the Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Group at the University of Reading as well as part of the project team.

The project will look at energy demand temporalities and the association of these temporalities to the operation of grid-integrated control and storage technologies at different scales of uptake across electricity distribution networks. This will including technology readiness level 4 systems and novel thermal storage technology currently under development. Thermal storage technology will be particularly focused on a versatile Phase Change Material energy storage system for building applications (Versatile PCM).  An assessment of energy, economic and environmental impacts with scale of technology uptake will also be conducted. This will primarily be through modelling of technology functionality and use of the proposed technology at different scales (both spatial and temporal). The project will use, and further develop, existing models of energy systems analysis.

The project will provide a valuable opportunity for assessing thermal storage capacity in relation to different timescales of environmental influences on both technology performance and human activity. It will be carried out in association with current and future projects exploring energy demand, particularly in association with leading energy research centres, such as the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (

It is important that the project provides new and useful guidance in relation to demand-side control and thermal storage technology development (specifically decarbonisation of heating and cooling). It will, therefore, be important that the candidate is able to communicate the subject matter to different audiences (academic, industry, local authority).  

Key tasks include:

> Use and development of energy demand models from building scale to wider network scale

> Development of case studies for evaluating the impact of energy demand behaviours and environmental drivers (i.e. meteorology) on technology performance

> Preparation of conference and journal research outputs

> Engage with wider research community

> Engage with non-academic partners

You will have:

  • Excellent programming skills preferably as applied to energy network/demand modelling
  • Ability to carry out advanced data analytics on large data sets
  • Experience (or in-depth knowledge of) mathematical modelling techniques (including Agent-based)
  • Ability to appropriately use and develop research case studies
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Postgraduate research experience in energy demand
  • Doctorate (or soon to obtain) in a relevant specialism
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Record of publications commensurate with career stage

Applications will be reviewed periodically before the closing date and interviews conducted thereafter as appropriate.

Informal contact details

Contact role:

Principal Investigator

Contact name:

Dr Stefan Thor Smith

Contact phone:

Upon request

Contact email:


Interviews will be held on 11 January 2021

​​​​​​​The University is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce, supports the gender equality Athena SWAN Charter and the Race Equality Charter, and is a Diversity Champion for Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ rights organisation. Applications for job-share, part-time and flexible working arrangements are welcomed and will be considered in line with business needs.


The closing date for this job has now passed.


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