sunset with wind turbines

Research Degree Themes

Environment, Energy & Sustainability

Focused on addressing many of the global challenges set out in the UN Sustainability Goals, this theme brings together researchers who approach these issues from a breadth of disciplinary perspectives that include the life sciences, engineering and computing but also embraces the social sciences and business disciplines.

Students from Robert Gordon University are engaging with community groups across the North East to revitalise coastal towns.

Increase in human activity over the past century is having a devastating impact on our water environment across the globe.

This research could include treatment of freshwater in situ or in treatment plants using advanced oxidative techniques.

Health and the city are strongly integrated issues. The under-developed, derelict pathogenic conditions and lack of people-centred urban design lead to an unhealthy city to live in for all ages.

As the Built Environment contributes a significant amount to the UK total carbon emissions (approximately 40%), in order to meet the zero carbon agenda, the construction sector is under pressure to create sustainable buildings, communities and cities.

Artists lead through practice, establish and lead organisations, and lead in civic contexts. Building on The Artist as Leader (Douglas and Fremantle 2009), The Discourse of Cultural Leadership (Price 2016), and recent work (Fremantle 2021, Naismith 2019, 2021) in the contexts of health & wellbeing and #netcarbonzero.

Heating and hot water for UK homes make up 25% of total energy use and 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Net-zero targets demand low-carbon transport; transitions from Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) are a core element of low-carbon automobility.

People and Solutions Effective carbon dioxide (CO2) mitigation strategies are imperative to ensure a sustainable future.

The analysis of designers’ engagement with digital tools is fascinating and complex, this project aims to help solve a few issues around the extension of the mind into the digital realm.

There are a number of technological innovations - such as Building Information Modelling and the use of smart contracts - which could revolutionise construction practice.

It is common with many university buildings that energy consumption is not monitored. There is a significant lack of framework and tools implemented to: identify where energy is being consumed, detect faults, or determine where energy saving measures could be implemented to greatest effect.

A PhD to investigate how nature-inspired computing and spatio-temporal network models can be used to find zero-carbon solutions to UK transport.

The constantly increasing tendency towards a global economy and the subsequent increase in exporting as a result, has inevitably led to a growing interest in the topic of export success as well.

SMEs adopting Nature-based solutions to address climate and environmental concerns are emerging in response to #netcarbonzero agendas.

This project will use Wave tank testing and CFD modelling to design and optimise the performance of an innovative pressure differential wave energy device.

Offshore wind turbines are subjected to harsh environmental conditions resulting in excessive corrosion in their subsea support structures.

Fluidized bed reactor systems find numerous applications in a variety of industries including Pharmaceutical, Chemical, Food Processing and Oil & Gas applications.

Digital platforms for Design for manufacture and assembly have emerged as tools that integrate design with fabrication.

The energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings account for a significant proportion of the total energy consumption in EU and US and the efficient functioning of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems in buildings is very significant.

Environmental and climate change can undermine livelihoods, which fuels grievances and increases the likelihood of violent conflict.

Emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, pesticides and personal care products pose a threat to water quality globally.

Beverages like wines, have exhibited a high level of antioxidant capacity, specifically from compounds like Gallic acid (GA) and their derivatives.

The polyphenolic compounds of interest, bisphenol A (BPA) and its analogue bisphenol S (BPS) are mainly used in the plastic industry to manufacture baby bottles and beverage containers.

Using advanced machine learning methods to generate critical information used to preserve assets in the energy sector.

Collaboration and commercial flexibility have been long term policy goals in the construction industry.

The global demand for energy, according to BNEF, is expected to surge 60% by 2050 requiring huge investments in grids infrastructure to protect them from being out of service.

Contract law underpins large parts of construction law. As more questions are asked about improving project delivery, dispute avoidance and dispute resolution, it is worth asking whether the concepts underpinning contract law generally can help in the search for solutions.

The CAMELS model/rating system is widely used by regulatory banking authorities to rank/group financial institutions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis in terms of social, economic, and environmental implications, with diverse consequences and unparalleled severity for most organisations (Boiral et al., 2021), including UK HEIs and beyond.

Remote inspection by means of ROVs or drones is an increasingly demanded service in domains such as farming, industry and public surveillance, due to the capability of reducing costs and increasing response efficiency.

A typical condition monitoring (CM) system uses various sensors to increase the system availability and reliability, but in contrast to preventive maintenance, condition monitoring enables condition-dependent maintenance (CBM), resulting in lower maintenance costs and higher system availability.

Indoor air quality inside schools has been a major problem specially in temperate and cold climates where heating is dominating in school terms.

Techniques like electrodeposition, thermal decomposition, electroless plating, pressing, sintering, and coating are the traditional catalysts manufacturing routes for electrolysers.

Climate change poses two types of risk for the corporate sector: physical and transition risks.

This PhD project will be looking at developing new electrode materials for energy storage devices applications.

Mass customisation of housing using engineered timber is one of the directions that might address the housing shortage in the UK and elsewhere.

Monte Carlo Tree Search is a technique which forms an important part of many planning and game playing algorithms, including Google’s AlphaGo.

Accumulation of post-consumed plastic and synthetic waste in the Earth is becoming one of the big threats to the wildlife, nature, and humans’ living environment.

This project aims to improve impact toughness while adding self-healing capability to high-performance composites.

Children are future urban managers. Sustainability inevitably means fair resource allocation so that the future generation would not encounter resource depletion due to improper urban management and decisions.

Construction waste generation has been identified as one of the major issues in the construction industry due to its direct impacts on the environment as well as the efficiency of the construction industry.

Sustainability is a complex and vast topic; one which small businesses may struggle to find time and resource to comprehend.

Microplastics (MPs) and nanoplastics (NPs) are a global health concern with wastewater discharges being an important environmental source.

This doctoral research would will explore the historical impact of transport links and infrastructural improvements in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Many developing countries have major infrastructure development deficit.

Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that research is the fastest and most recognised route for academic career progression in UK HEIs.

Research evaluation is not peculiar to the UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) climate. There are similar assessment frameworks to the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF), including but not limited to Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) in New Zealand, and Research quality evaluation in Sweden – FOKUS.

A recent study (Ndubuka, 2020) on the influence of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) on the implementation of responsible management education in UK business schools found that there is an opportunity for TEF to support the development of future responsible leaders, which is core to responsible management education.

Integration of remote sensing data with data from other sensors, agriculture, soil moisture, machine learning techniques, and multi-sensor data.

Carbon dioxide emissions mitigation technologies include combinations of industrial processes that collectively achieve CO2 emissions reduction, e.g. carbon capture, utilisation, transportation, and storage, and carbon removal installations, including direct air capture.

With the increasing world population, comes a high demand for food and hence the food processing industry is fast growing in most countries with a consequent increase in food waste. As a result, food waste management will increase substantially.

The food and drink manufacturing and processing industry has an important part to play in reducing food waste and transitioning to a circular economy paradigm where by-products are processed in an effective and sustainable way; generating greater socio-economic value, and tackling climate change.

Our research focuses on the development of novel Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) farm for extracting greater wind energy.

Hemp could be a key to #netcarbonzero in Scotland’s agronomic industries providing carbon sequestration, contributing to a greater biodiversity, land recovery and remediation.

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