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HYSTORE PhD position

HYSTORE PhD position

College / Management Unit: College of Science

School / Unit / Institute: Computer Science

Post Title: PhD

Post Duration: 4 years

Research Project: HYSTORE

Reports to / Principal Investigator: Prof. Eleni Mangina ((opens in a new window)eleni.mangina@ucd.ie)



The decarbonisation of the Energy System will play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the impacts of Climate Change. The technical and societal challenges inherent in decarbonisation are set to be enduring challenges of the mid-21st century and ones that will require a whole of society approach, encompassing academia, industry, government, and citizens.

The mission of HYSTORE is to develop and validate an innovative set of TES (Thermal Energy Storage) concepts, based on the combination of cutting-edge technology components, namely, ALL-IN-ONE PCM solution, LOW-TEMP PCM HEATING&COOLING solution, PCM HEATING solution and TCM HEATING & COOLING solution. The four novel concepts –attain different but thorough applications on H/C, DHW configurations, and further enable the provision of hybrid – meaning energy and power- services. It follows the current European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) that promotes the implementation of thermal storage technologies, to increase the share of renewable energy systems (RES) or variable renewable energy (VRE). It also encourages TES as an enabler to improve the flexible and reliable operation of building both power and thermal systems as decentralized energy resources, exploiting the increasing share of renewables, context maximizing the exploitation and harnessing local RES generation and electrical grid peak load shedding and management. 4 use case applications in different climates both for District Heating/Cooling connected and non DHC-connected buildings with high-impact and replication potential. Regarding cost-effectiveness, the aim of HYSTORE is to achieve technological advancement of thermal energy storage (TES) with up to +150% energy density and -50% CAPEX compared to state-of-the-art.

A key challenge in the transition to decarbonisation is the development of sustainable urban neighbourhoods. This presents the challenge of aggregation and validation of energy profiles of individual buildings into a single community model while maintaining the essential granularity at an individual building level. From the social perspective, it is essential to analyse how such models can capture prosumer behaviour and needs and how policy can support such an important transition.

The whole system and main applications will be achieved thanks to the following general objectives:

  • GO1: to deploy plug-and-play TES solutions for daily and monthly storage that are perfectly integrated with the building energy system and with the electric and thermal networks.
  • GO2: to eliminate technical barriers linked to storage installation and operation complexity by acting at (i) engineering level, (ii) technical training level, (iii) interoperability level of the storage with the other smart appliances.
  • GO3: to reduce the LCOE associated to the use of storage, making TES competitive with the widely adopted EES solutions and in line with SET Plan targets
  • GO4: to operate the TES solutions as assets for the grid in the flexibility and frequency market, while proposing business and operational schemes for Capacity as a Service.
  • GO5: to validate at TRL6/7 the proposed TES solutions and the operational platform in: (1) residential/mixed use building in Nordic climate, (2) office building in Mediterranean climate, (3) apartment dwelling in Continental climate, (4) district-connected hospital complex in Mediterranean climate.

This PhD will be aligned within the different goals of the project and focus on the data analysis for the demonstration site in Ireland, UCD campus. Belfield is the primary campus from University College Dublin and has a daily population of approximately 30,000 people, making it larger than most Irish towns. The Belfield Campus has all the attributes of a small city, being home to a growing number of students who live on campus, a place of work and education as well as a place of recreation for our growing population and visitors alike. The UCD community is composed of over 35,000 students and 3,500 staff. The 335-acre Belfield Campus is known for its woodlands, lakes and open spaces. This beautiful parkland setting provides space for recreation and sport and plays an important role in facilitating a balanced lifestyle. The UCD Campus is served with a large-scale central Building Management System (BMS). This Cylon BMS system is used to centrally control all HVAC, water and lighting services on campus. The system is deployed throughout the entire campus and is a key tool for implementing energy and carbon optimisation measures. The system has approximately 50,000 data points and also collects energy and water consumption data from all buildings on campus. This data is hosted on a web-based M&T system “Active Energy”. The tasks this PhD will be involved in include:

  • Use cases and framework scenario identification;
  • Development, testing and evaluation of TES ICT tools
  • Ontology driven model based storage service integration
  • Integration and smart operation platform for the UCD campus pilot
  • Demonstration and cost validation
  • Dissemination activities

The candidate should be willing to work across all these scales of the built environment. Undertaking necessary analysis of each component as directed by the supervisors and modelling the integrative system at large.

Salary:  €19,000 per annum stipend


Travel budget

Budget for PC/laptop

Materials budget (books, computer consumables and general disposables)

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

This is a research focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of research supported by research training and development under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator/ Supervisor, and where the student will:

  • carry out an agreed research and work plan to meet project requirements and deliverables, working closely with UCD staff and PhD team from other projects in the Computer Science and Energy Institute (i.e. NEXSYS);
  • support tasks in building estates for data acquisition if requested;
  • travel to meetings and conferences as required;
  • collaborate with partners on specific tasks on a range of topics

As part of a structured PhD in UCD the student will complete modules in relevant topics (TBA) to a total of 30 credits as required, and will engage with and contribute to the Energy Institute and UCD Building in a Climate Emergency Research Lab.

The student will ensure that all research is carried out in line with UCD requirements for ethical research and data management, and that the PhD is completed within the allocated period.

Selection Criteria 

Selection criteria outline the qualifications, skills, knowledge and/or experience that the successful candidate would need to demonstrate for successful discharge of the responsibilities of the post.  Applications will be assessed on the basis of how well candidates satisfy these criteria.


  • MSc and BSc (2.1 grade or higher) in Computer Science, Engineering (Energy, Electrical or similar),
  • Understanding of energy systems and grids as well as integration of local sources,
  • Experience, knowledge or willingness to learn energy modelling tools,
  • Experience, knowledge or willingness to undertake on site energy monitoring; installation of sensors, data capture and processing,
  • Experience, knowledge or willingness to learn data analysis tools,
  • Willingness to travel to site,
  • Good report writing experience,
  • Excellent English communication skills,
  • Excellent interpersonal skills,
  • Willingness to work as part of a team of researchers and
  • Willingness to work closely with a wider cohort of stakeholders.


  • Knowledge of Excel, Matlab, R, Python etc.
  • Well-developed research skills, both qualitative and quantitative,
  • Attention to detail and strong organisational skills,
  • Experience in stakeholder engagement
  • Awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion agenda, and,
  • Ability to manage a complex workload and work to tight deadlines.

Applicants should send a CV, cover letter, transcripts and 2 references to Prof. Eleni Mangina ((opens in a new window)eleni.mangina@ucd.ie) 16.00CET / 17.00GMT, January 20th, 2023.

Shortlisted candidates will be called for interview beginning of February 2023, expecting a commencement date ASAP.

UCD School of Computer Science

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 V1W8.
T: +353 1 716 2483 | E: computerscience@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)