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.


  • A first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in computer science, engineering, mathematics or statistics.
  • A good understanding of statistics and some knowledge of sensing technologies.
  • An interest in machine learning, IoT and the built environment would be beneficial.


3.5 years

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Oppportunity details

Buildings represent 40% of the total energy consumption in the UK. For building owners, the day to day operation of a building amounts to about 70% of its total cost over its lifespan. And yet, approximately a third of commercial building space goes relatively unused. This presents a great opportunity for cost savings through space optimisation and energy consumption modelling in buildings. Mapping out and aggregating building data will enable operations staff to not only optimise energy use, but also to develop an effective asset management strategy.

This PhD project, run in collaboration with EDF Energy, will develop an innovative way to combine data from building management systems, specific building sensors (that record temperature, noise, light, and CO2 levels) and data from phones, in order to create an intelligent system that optimises building management. The project will improve energy optimisation by going beyond the simple linear methods (e.g. regression models) generally used in this context, to machine learning techniques such as neural networks and support vector machines, that can capture the complex nonlinear relationships that govern building energy consumption and occupancy processes.

The project will use the fine-grained data gathered by the sensor network — along with building information modelling (BIM) data — to visualise and develop insight into the building’s salient and subtle operating features. This insight will also be used to explore other applications of BIM in the operation of a building such as indoor mapping and emergency response, and how these might contribute to a larger asset management strategy. The connected visualisation platform created with the BIM model will be developed as a tool to showcase trends in the building’s occupancy and energy use to students and the university body. The initial focus for this work will be the University Library, but later on the student will apply their knowledge to the new buildings being constructed as part of the university’s £1B Smart Campus development project.

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.


The student will be jointly supervised by Prof. Matthew Chalmers (Computing Science) and Fiona Bradley (Civil Engineering), along with industrial advisors from EDF Energy. The student would visit EDF Energy’s R&D facility in London at least once every other month to deepen and broaden their knowledge, and to take advantage of the industrial research happening there.

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

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

Deadline: 15 December 2017

Start Date: 1 April 2018

Applications open
Apply now

Applications are now open.