EDF Energy has an R&D centre in the UK with around 50 researchers in situ. The centre is an integral part of the EDF Group R&D network and works across the whole value chain of electricity; successfully leading on millions of pounds worth of international projects. It is a centre of expertise for the group benefiting from the UK's strong experience in a number of topics including Offshore Wind, Intermittency or Smart Grids and works across all EDF Energy specialisms including Nuclear, CCS, Energy Efficiency, Smart Meters, Electric Vehicles, and Digital Futures.

The R&D Centre works in partnership with a number of universities across the UK to sponsor post-graduate research projects. Information will be provided here on EDF Energy sponsored research opportunities when they arise.


The CDT does not specify the degree subject, but for our research topic a degree in Mechanical Engineering or Physics would be appropriate at 2:1 level or above.


Four years

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Oppportunity details

Using BIM, sensors and phone data to improve prediction of a building’s energy consumption

This project, run in collaboration with EDF Energy, aims to use fine-grained data on activity and sensors in a building— along with basic Building Information Modelling (BIM) data — to better predict energy consumption (and consumption needs), in a visualisation platform for building data.

A phone app would let people voluntarily share their activity (e.g. location/movement) when in the building, initially via the Bluetooth beacons installed in the Library by Chalmers’ group, and sensor packs (that record temperature/noise/light/CO2 levels) from the FRuIT project (PIs: Perkins and Singer, SOCS). Susan Ashworth, University Librarian is already supporting exploratory app work. Later, we aim to apply the project’s methods to the Learning and Teaching Hub. We note that Ashworth is on the project board for the L&T Hub, and that Frank Coton has expressed a desire to apply the findings from this kind of project to it.

This PhD would not develop new types of analytics per se (e.g. new forms of statistical model), but improving energy prediction by going beyond the simple linear methods (e.g. regression models) generally used in this context, to non-linear models, by selectively extending the set of features used for analysis. By making the collection of such data economical, we aim to make it more likely that the gains in optimising energy use would more easily outweigh the costs in collecting and analysing the data.

The student would most likely have a Computer Science background, being able to do app development, handle straightforward sensor setups, and to analyse data using contemporary toolkits such as Jupyter Workbench and IBM BlueMix/Watson — bringing to bear the many tools for predictive modelling in these tools and on the web. The co-supervision role of Fiona Bradley in Engineering would be vital, as we ensure that the modelling conforms to the needs and aims of civil engineers. We would also reach out to Estates, for advice and collaboration—as, ultimately, we aim to develop methods to be used by them to reduce and optimise the energy consumption of the Library and other university buildings.

What we do

One of seven global centres of energy research excellence, EDF Energy’s UK R&D operation delivers value for the global business by tackling specific, short term challenges and better equipping us to meet the future. We work to speed the development of innovative digital platforms and smart technology and systems, to support the deployment and management of renewable technologies, such as wind farms, and guarantee the safety and performance of existing sources, such as nuclear plants.

Who we are

Our R&D centre employs over sixty people, with an additional twenty PhD and EngD researchers, across three sites, recognised by government, academia and industry as leading experts in their field. Working at the leading edge of the global energy industry, our people develop new energy solutions for low carbon generation, transport, storage, and customer use.

Why join us

This is a chance to innovate on behalf of our customers, developing sophisticated, real-world tools and processes, kick-starting an exciting and varied career. As well as making an immediate impact on the UK energy business, you could help take us to build new partnerships, strengthening our position in Europe and developing robust low-carbon energy solutions.


These research opportunities give students the chance to develop their academic qualifications whilst gaining industrial experience within EDF Energy’s R&D Teams.

Rewards and benefits

As the students taking up these research positions will be employed by a university, the pay rates and benefits will depend on that offered by the university, and also will change from opportunity to opportunity – so interested students would need to check each individual opportunity to receive further details on the remuneration.


Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK/EU applicants, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (£14,553 for Session 2017-18).

Qualifying students attract an enhanced stipend which could be tax and NI free depending on personal circumstances. For 2016 this was approximately £19,000 tax free per annum. Funding is for four years and also covers University tuition fees, all course fees and a travel allowance to attend courses.

How to Apply: Please refer to the following link for details on how to apply:

Appliation deadline: 14th July 2017. 

Start date: 1st October 2017.

Applications open
Apply now

Applications are now open.