Research Associate in Thermal energy storage engineering for Domestic heating applications (KTP Associate

School of Chemical Engineering

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Overview

  • Posted on: 05th Nov 2021
  • Salary: £27,924.
  • REF: 98501
  • Closes: 28th November 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Background

The Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES) is recruiting a highly motivated researcher to join the teams at the University of Birmingham and at Eskimo Products Limited. BCES is a cross-campus centre with its hub in the School of Chemical Engineering. BCES activities cover both fundamental and applied research in novel thermal energy storage and conversion systems.

This is an exciting opportunity to lead a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES) and Eskimo Products Limited. The Knowledge Transfer Partnership project will develop a unique smart thermal energy storage system that will uniquely combine latent heat storage and domestic heating. The project will address ambitious technical challenges including development of phase change materials (PCMs), new thermal energy storage design and prototyping, and manufacturing, and integration of the system into buildings. In particular, the researcher will address:

i) Thermo-fluid dynamic design, prototyping and testing of the proposed system
ii) Phase change Materials (PCM) Optimization
iii) Technical and economic analysis of the effectiveness of the proposed system

The project will ultimately lead to a new disruptive technology and product for energy storage and heating needed in the zero-carbon UK society.

Please note that the successful applicant will be employed by the University of Birmingham but will be primarily based at Eskimo Products Ltd premises in Lea Hall, Birmingham.

Role Summary

The Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES) is recruiting a highly motivate researcher to join the teams at the University of Birmingham and at Eskimo Products Limited. BCES is a cross-campus centre with its hub in the School of Chemical Engineering. BCES activities cover both fundamental and applied research in novel thermal energy conversion and storage systems.

Deep emission reduction is ubiquitously associated with the need of development and adoption of efficient thermal processes and thermal energy storage in buildings, from private houses, to commercial and industrial buildings. This is exemplified by key UK priorities such as the Clean Growth Strategy.

The researcher is therefore expected to contribute to deliver a new approach and systems for smart thermal energy storage system with phase change materials (PCMs) for domestic heating applications. The post holder will work closely in collaboration with academics at the University of Birmingham, project managers and the industrial partner, and mainly contribute to the development, prototyping and testing of a novel and competitive smart system for thermal energy storage and heating in buildings. The research and development carried out by the researcher will result in system level improvement and new commercially.

The successful applicant will produce and translate scientific and technical knowledge to develop smart thermal energy storage systems for future commercialization. The associate will work on overcoming technical challenges in thermo-fluid dynamic design and testing of the system, phase change materials optimization, and analysis of the effectiveness of the proposed solution. The associate will closely work with academics at the University of Birmingham (School of Chemical Engineering) as well as with engineers and managers at Eskimo Products Limited to overcome the challenges and successfully develop the thermal energy storage product.

In addition, the Associate will:

Develop Skills

• Develop both industry and research skills to boost your career
• Access a dedicated training and development budget
• Work across all aspects of the project including research and business activities

Take Ownership

• Solve challenges and develop your own learning
• Manage your own workload to deliver project objectives
• Contribute to the project’s direction

Collaborate

• Benefit from continuous support from your academic and company supervisors
• Work with innovative and ambitious company staff including contact with senior management
• See the real-life impact of your work and research for the company

About Eskimo Products Limited

Eskimo Products Limited design and manufacture high-end heating products including radiators and towel rails. Leaders in the radiator product design sector – with robust engineering, inspiring and progressive designs, technical reliability, technical innovation, and intelligence – Eskimo are proud to manufacture their products in the UK. Find out more at: https://eskimodesign.co.uk/

About Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme is a government-funded technology transfer initiative that supports partnerships between business and universities, placing graduates on challenging, high profile projects. Further information is available at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/ktp

Main Duties

• Perform thermodynamic and thermo-fluidynamics simulation and optimization of thermal energy storage system

• Optimize and characterize phase change materials (PCMs)

• Fabricate and test thermal energy storage system prototype

• Carry out techno-economic modelling and assessment of thermal energy storage integrated into buildings

• Writing of project reports and peer-reviewed publications (minimum target of 3) as part of the dissemination plan of the project

• Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation, literature reviews, and research interviews

• Analyse research data as directed

• Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters

• Develop or adapt techniques, models and methods

• Provide guidance as required to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research

• Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines

• Carry out administrative tasks related directly to the delivery of the research

Person Specification

• A First degree in one of the following subjects: energy engineering, chemical engineering, process system engineering, or mechanical engineering, or qualification in area related to the main duties outlined above

• A track record in engineering thermodynamics, process simulations/thermofluidynamic simulations, heat integration

• Proven ability to analyse and good understanding of heat, mass transfer and fluid flow

• Familiarity and understating in principles and applications of modelling and simulations with commercial and/or open sources packages (for example Matlab, Comsol, Fluent, Aspen, etc)

• Able to conceive clear, effective, efficient and logical approaches to work

• Desirable: Familiarity with thermal energy storage is a plus

• Desirable: Prior experience in experimental analysis of thermal processes is a plus

• Practical experience of applying relevant skills and techniques

• Ability to analyse information and communicate effectively

• Ability to access and organise resources successfully

Informal enquires toAdriano Sciacovelli, via A.Sciacovelli@bham.ac.uk

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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