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Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) for Electricity Derived Transport Fuelling
Whiteknights Reading UK

Job reference: SRF40192

Location: Whiteknights Reading UK

Closing date: 02/02/2022

Job live date: 13/01/2022

Salary: £42,149 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 to September 2023


The purpose of this role is to support the Investigators in undertaking the EPSRC funded Sustainable Heavy Duty Truck, Marine and Rail Transport (SMaRT) project, namely through conducting agent-based modelling of the spatial and temporal power network loading from delivering electricity derived transport ‘fuel’.

Main duties and responsibilities


  • Undertake research under the supervision of the project Co-Investigator (Dr Smith) with additional direction from the project lead (Dr Coker). This will include:
    • Lead on the enhancement of a modelling framework for the impact of electric vehicle charging on the power grid at network voltage tiers relevant for fuelling heavy duty vehicles, including some or all from transport depots, service stations, ports etc.
    • Develop feasible electricity network load characteristics for alternative fuelling strategies including hydrogen electrolysis and ammonia synthesis
    • Assess the electricity network impact of fuelling, utilising a range of mathematical and computational techniques.
    • Access relevant data sources to assess the implications of renewable generation and price variability for temporal fuelling characteristics.
    • Test plausible fleet fuel adoption assumptions to identify network hotspots, capacity thresholds and load characteristics that complement/antagonise other electricity network demands
  • Carry out independent research and supervise the work of (student) research assistants
  • Take a leading role in the writing of papers for publication in academic journals and other relevant media
  • Prepare and disseminate research findings and establish a (inter)national reputation through participation in (inter)national conferences, exhibitions and workshop events
  • Design and implement research methodologies that add to knowledge and understanding that are appropriate to the discipline
  • Collaborate with colleagues within the University and at other institutions in the development of original research
  • Provide specialist advice to other staff and students within the University
  • Use initiative and creativity to synthesise, analyse, and interpret research data
  • Contribute to the development and writing of research proposals and projects
  • Participate in peer review activities appropriate to supporting the discipline

Enterprise & Outreach:

  • Liaise closely with industry partners and clients external to the University, such as academics and potential research users, and researchers and partners involved with the project
  • Support development and maintenance of relevant website(s) and social media to support research user engagement
  • Participate in and help organise relevant seminars, conferences, exhibitions and other events, including those linking the SMaRT project to the associated CREDS Transport & Mobility Theme.
  • Participate in relevant activities that contribute to the widening participation agenda

Leadership & Management:

  • Participate in School promotion and recruitment initiatives such as Open Days and Visit Days
  • Participate in project teams and steering groups at a Research Group, Department or School level
  • Contribute to the research culture within the School of Built Environment, particularly pertaining to Energy and Environmental Engineering
  • Undertake project-related administration such as organising regular project or client meetings, departmental presentations or seminars (e.g. impact activities and advisory panel meetings)

Interviews will be held on 24 February 2022

Informal contact details

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Lead Investigator

Contact role:


Contact name:

Dr Phil Coker

Contact name:

Dr Stefan Thor Smith

Contact email:

Contact email:

​​​​​​​Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. By reference to the applicable SOC code for this role, sponsorship may be possible under the Skilled Worker Route.  Applicants should ensure that they are able to meet the points requirement under the PBS.  There is further information about this on the UK Visas and Immigration Website.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​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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