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Overview

  • Posted on: 23rd Dec 2021
  • Salary: £31,406 to £40,927, with potential progression once in post to £43,434
  • REF: 98887
  • Closes: 16th January 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Background

Pathways to net-zero cooling and cold-chains in a warming world – Opportunity to join major global research team at Centre for Sustainable Cooling working in the UK and internationally, including leading the development of the new Centre of Excellences being established in Africa and India.

Temperature controlled cooling for supply chains are central to many aspects of a modern society and underpin socio-economic well-being as well as a population’s health – access to pharma and vaccines; food systems and access to nutritional food and prevention of food loss within the supply chains; protection and increase of farmer/rural incomes. Cold-chains are though energy intensive and currently reliant on both diesel, for example in a wide range of transport, weak grid and off-grid applications, and in many cases coal and/or natural gas based power grids.

Led by University of Birmingham, a collaboration of UK Universities with world-class expertise in clean cooling and cold-chain have secured £multi-million funding to work across a series of significant research projects to transform the cold-chain sector in developing and developed markets into a more efficient and sustainable system from ‘manufacturer to arm’ and ‘farm to fork’.

We are looking to recruit further Research Fellows to work in the global Centre for Sustainable Cooling at University of Birmingham, contributing to work packages of the African and India Centres for Sustainable Cooling and Cold-chain and UK Sustainable Food Cold-chain research programmes. This includes specifically the challenge of adaptation and delivering new cooling strategies and solution in a fast warming world.

These are two year appointments (with the potential to be extended) focused on techno-economic analysis and design of sustainable cooling and cold-chains and technology selection. This includes emissions modelling and defining pathway to net-zero solutions.

Role Summary

Research

  • Cooling needs assessments (include future assessment)
  • Techno-economic analysis of cooling and cold-chain technologies and systems
  • Novel strategies and solutions for cooling in high temperature climates
  • Techno-commercial business models and design
  • Develop and model roadmaps to net-zero emissions
  • Identify and create strategies to address in-country capacity gaps

Outputs

  • Organise and deliver impact and dissemination activities with a wide range of stakeholders including policy-makers, inter-Governmental Development Agencies and NGOs
  • Collaborate with partners and universities in data collection and analysis, workshop organisation, writing reports and academic publications
  • Contribute to writing bids and generating funding
  • Developing and making substantial contributions to knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement, public engagement activities, widening participation or similar activities within the University and through the Centre for Sustainable Cooling (a multi-University collaboration)

Main Duties

  • The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.
  • Collect research data, both quantitative and qualitative data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as literature reviews, research interviews and workshops
  • Robust techno-economic analysis of data, following ethical guidelines for data collection and analysis
  • Contribute to technology selection based on, inter alia energy resources, social and economic criteria
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Write up research output into high quality reports and academic papers for publication
  • Present findings in high quality conferences, workshops and meetings both in the UK and overseas
  • Contribute to the administration/management of activities associated with the project
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research including in collaboration partners in-country
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

Person Specification

  • Academic qualifications at the doctoral level in a relevant academic discipline and deep techno-eonomic understanding of sustainable cooling and cold-chains and technologies and energy systems. Specific skills sets could include one or more of
    • quantitative data analysis and modelling, including skills and experience in using programming software such as Python, and Input-Output model on emissions calculation.
    • in-depth technical expertise on cooling and energy technologies, ideally with interdisciplinary background and whole-system knowledge and skills.
    • strong econometrics background and skills, and experience in developing technoeconomic modelling and familiar with CAPEX, OPEX, levelized cost of energy etc. Experienced in technoeconomic analysis comparing different technology/system options.
  • Interdisciplinary research experience linked to understanding complex social, economic and technical challenges
  • An understanding of a range of influences from business drivers to cultural context and appreciation of whole systems models, techniques or methods
  • High level analytical capability, experienced in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis
  • Experienced in public engagement and workshop organisation with high level policymakers and stakeholders
  • Track record of academic publications, proven delivery of reports and papers that are recognised within the field
  • Proven ability to work both under guidance as part of a team, but also independently
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively

Informal enquiries to Prof Toby Peters, t.peters@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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