EPSRC CDT in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE)

Training future leaders and innovators in the energy and built environment field.

Find out more
ERBE-associated institutions

What is the Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE) CDT?

The energy system is undergoing a major transition. Low carbon energy sources have an increasing role to play, accommodating them requires new flexibility in the system, and the relationship between energy supply and demand is no longer one-way.

This interaction of people, buildings and energy systems will transform the relationship between supply and demand. Our domestic and non-domestic buildings will no longer be passive consumers of heat and power; instead, our homes and businesses will participate actively in a flexible, integrated, low-carbon supply and demand system that includes buying, selling and storing heat and power. To implement this vision, we need people with a deep understanding of building physics, low-zero carbon technologies and the socio-technical context, to lead and drive change in government, industry, NGOs and academia.

The new EPSRC CDT in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE) brings together established energy research centres at Loughborough University (LU) and University College London (UCL) with the Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre. Loughborough and UCL will train at least 50 PhD students through a programme of energy demand research in a whole energy system context.

We build on a decade of experience of high-quality doctoral training to provide a bespoke new PhD programme, including: opportunities to work with leading researchers, projects integrated with industry and a comprehensive skills and development programme. We are centred firmly within the UK’s energy research landscape and so all PhDs will have the opportunity to undertake significant, impactful research.

What does the four-year PhD programme involve?

Our new, integrated four-year programme is co-created with partners in industry and government, and our students. It is research-focused from the start but incorporates interdisciplinary taught courses and skills training. This structure ensures that students build up a firm foundation of skills and knowledge they can immediately apply in their research.

The taught modules cover energy policy and society, energy data and analysis, building modelling, physics of the built environment and socio-technical theory and methods. You will also learn research skills such as research ethics, academic writing and research project management, and wider skills such as leadership, innovation and engaging with policy makers. You will have the opportunity to interact in person and through an online hub with fellow students in the other institutions. Teaching will be delivered by specialists across the Centre.

You will undertake your PhD at either Loughborough or UCL in one of three themes:

  1. Flexibility and resilience: the interaction between buildings and the whole supply system, through new generation and storage technology, enabled by smart control systems and new business models.
  2. Technology and system performance: demand reduction and decarbonisation of the built environment through design, construction methods, technological innovation, monitoring and regulation.
  3. Comfort, health and well-being: buildings and energy systems that create productive work environments and affordable, clean, safe homes.

How to apply to join the ERBE CDT

Who we are looking for

Applications are invited from UK graduates with a good first degree (1st or 2:1) in one of the following areas: physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, natural sciences, materials science, data analytics, computer science, statistics, psychology, social science, architecture or other building and energy-related disciplines.

Limited funding is available for EU and overseas students with these or equivalent qualifications, and they are also encouraged to apply. Applicants with other relevant qualifications or extensive relevant industry experience who can show evidence of a scientific and engineering research capability may also apply.

How and when to apply

Loughborough and UCL are offering up to 8 fully funded studentships for entry into the 2019/2020 academic year. If eligible, you will receive a stipend which is tax free, plus UK/EU fees for four years (conditions apply). The stipend for UCL will be approx. £17,009 (exact amount to be confirmed) and the stipend for Loughborough University is expected to be £17,009 (exact amount to be confirmed).

We also accept applications from students who wish to self-fund, are in receipt of an independent scholarships or who are fully industry-funded; this must be indicated clearly on your application.


Note: Recruitment for Studentship at UCL for academic year 2019/20 is now closed. Please follow the ERBE twitter account for updates on recruitment for 2020/21.

Please click here to apply to Loughborough University, when prompted select programme Civil and Building Engineering (Built Environment) and quote reference: ERBE19. Click here for a PDF guide to applications through the Loughborough University portal. Applications for the September 2019 intake will remain open at Loughborough University until all places are filled.


Applicants interested in studying at MaREI should contact: Prof Brian O'Gallachoir (Co-Director, MaREI Centre) b.ogallachoir@ucc.ie


Join us and help make a difference!

For further information about studentships at UCL please email: bseer.erbecdt@ucl.ac.uk

For further information about studentships at Loughborough University, please email: Civ.Eng.Pgr@lboro.ac.uk

Please note: There may be additional recruitment rounds if studentships are not taken up in May 2019 (dates TBC). Recruitment is handled separately by UCL and Loughborough. We do not accept applications outside of the main recruitment phases or by CV only. Follow us on Twitter: @ERBECDT to be the first to know about Scholarships and news of the Centre.

Contact Us

For further information about studentships at UCL please email: bseer.erbecdt@ucl.ac.uk

For further information about studentships at Loughborough University, please email: Civ.Eng.Pgr@lboro.ac.uk

Please note: There may be additional recruitment rounds if studentships are not taken up in May 2019 (dates TBC). Recruitment is handled separately by UCL and Loughborough. We do not accept applications outside of the main recruitment phases or by CV only. Follow us on Twitter: @ERBECDT to be the first to know about Scholarships and news of the Centre.