PhD researchers sought for major €5.8m renewables study

15 May 2017

Students working on engineering class project. Image: South West College

Following the establishment of a major investigation into renewable energy at South West College, 12 PhD researcher positions are to be filled.

Last month, a ‘renewable engine’ project was unveiled at Northern Ireland’s South West College.

The four-year programme was devised to build a cluster of research and innovation SMEs, backed by €5.8m in Special EU Programmes Body funding.

Project partners include Queen’s University Belfast, Institute of Technology Sligo, University of Strathclyde, Manufacturing NI, Action Renewables and Mid Ulster Council.

However, it’s South West College in Tyrone that’s leading the hunt for 12 PhD researchers to help drive the programme.

“The range of employment opportunities within the energy and manufacturing industries locally is extremely diverse, and the scale of demand for talent is vast,” said Dr Jill Cush, innovation and development manager at the college.

“Many energy and advanced manufacturing technologies are at a key innovation stage, and the progress being made by pioneering companies across the UK and Ireland has been nothing short of outstanding.”

Cush claims that this will be supported by PhD students “who want to advance their careers quickly in a practical, focused way”.

The programme aims to generate mounds of research developed at PhD level and above, which will hopefully lead to a commercial advantage for the participating businesses.

The students chosen for this project will be working with industry directly, given that the aim of the whole programme is to create a cluster of businesses in the renewable energy space.

Education, training and professional support will be provided across the partner institutions, with opportunities within the energy and manufacturing sectors notable both sides of the border.

“This groundbreaking project aims to support the development of a new and unique cross-border research and innovation ‘supercluster’ involving high-calibre research and industry partners, which can capitalise on the world-class facilities and resources available through academic partners,” said the organisers.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic