Research Assistant at Imperial College London

A new postdoctoral associate position in tourism is available at Imperial College London. Candidates are welcome before July 21, 2019.

The RA/PDRA will work on the project "Optimal design of hybrid renewable energy systems for tourism facilities in the Fayoum Governorate" funded by the British Council as part of its Institutional Links scheme between Imperial in the UK and Fayoum University in Egypt. This project is concerned with enhancing the use of renewable energy (RE) in the growing region of Fayoum, as well as other, similar global regions. Fayoum would like to harness RE sources as it attempts to expand its tourism sector. This economic sector is sensitive to cost and energy reliability, and facilities are reluctant to adopt RE solutions due to their perceived high costs and intermittent nature. This project aims to assess the potential of RE sources in Fayoum, and similar regions, and to propose feasible hybrid renewable energy systems (HRES) for tourism facilities.

The post will involve working as part of a team, with local partners at Fayoum University, to: (i) assess the potential of renewable (wind, solar) resources, and develop prediction models for solar irradiance and wind speed in Fayoum, and other similar regions); (ii) assess biomass potentials in Fayoum; (iii) propose potential HRES configurations for tourism facilities, and determine their optimal design and operation when serving the onsite energy demands of such facilities in Fayoum (and other, similar, regions); and (iv) develop a small-scale hybrid wind+PV+storage prototype. A series of models covering a range of conventional and RE technologies will be compiled, and combined within wider system (i.e., HRES) models. Potential HRES configurations that show promise in matching the energy demand requirements of specific tourism facilities will be proposed and optimised on the basis of techno-economic factors. Of interest, amongst other, are integrated wind+PV farms, and hybrid dual-fuel solar-biomass systems using concentrating solar collectors, and a range of thermal and electrical energy storage technologies. The option of concentrating solar power generation and/or (heat) cogeneration with hybridization via biomass energy systems will also be considered.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range 34,397- 37,486 per annum

To undertake research as defined by the research supervisor and take into account recommendations by the project collaborators and sponsors. To liaise with project partners and collaborators in order to obtain necessary energy resource and demand, component and technology data/models, define specifications for the energy technologies and systems to be modelled, define system-level requirements based on both technical and economic parameters and factors. To develop, implement, and when possible test/validate the models of the considered technologies. To implement all models within easy-to-use software environments and interfaces. Use these models to assess the technical and economic performance of individual components, technologies and devices, and of the whole system in different applications. To identify and develop suitable techniques and apparatus for the collection and analysis of data from technology manufacturers. To conduct analysis of data. To prepare publications for international journals when suitable. To assist with elements of journal management and editing, and in particular, in relation to journal Applied Thermal Engineering, as requested by the project supervisor. To assist with the analysis of data. To ensure the validity and reliability of data at all times. To maintain accurate and complete records of all findings. To assist with the writing of reports to research sponsors. To provide periodic written progress updates. To present findings to colleagues and at conferences in written and oral form. To provide advice to other staff and students. To assist with the publication of findings. To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary. To develop contacts and research collaborations within the College and the wider community. To promote the reputation of the Group, the Department and the College.

Research Assistant : Hold a Masters (or equivalent) degree in Chemical/Mechanical/Electrical engineering, Physics or a closely related discipline, or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience.

Experience : Practical experience within a research environment and / or publication in relevant and refereed journals. Relevant experience in a broad range of design techniques based on modelling and simulation related to relevant energy technologies. Relevant experience in a broad range of experimental testing techniques related to relevant energy technologies.

Knowledge : Knowledge of the underlying physical processes related to technologies of interest. Broad knowledge of energy conversion technologies (both conventional and renewable) for heating, cooling and electricity infrastructures (heating, electricity networks), plus storage.

Skillsand Abilities : Ability to conduct a detailed review of recent literature. Ability to develop and apply new concepts. Creative approach to problem-solving. Excellent verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with a wide range of people. Excellent written communication skills and the ability to write clearly and succinctly for publication. Ability to organise own work with minimal supervision. Advanced computer skills, including word-processing, spreadsheets and the Internet. Familiarity with modelling and optimisation tools (e.g. Python, MATLAB, GAMS or other). Ability to direct the work of a small research team and motivate others to produce a high standard of work.

Other : Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative. Willingness to support activities relating to journal management and editing. Flexible attitude towards work.Discipline and regard for confidentiality and security at all times. Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role. Willingness to travel both within the United Kingdom, Egypt and abroad to conduct research and attend conferences. Willingness to work out of normal working hours (including weekends) if the requirements of the project demand.

Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Professor Christos Markides (

To apply, please click the Apply Now button at the top of the page.

Further information about the post is available in the job description.

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact


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