This PhD project aims to design, apply and validate a tool to embed justice concepts into energy and energy-water infrastructure design. The project will operate at the intersection of social science and engineering by engaging with the social and justice spheres that surround changes to infrastructure systems. The goal is to prompt thoughtful and just infrastructure change, maximising the benefits new systems can bring. 

This project provides a rare opportunity to work in a truly interdisciplinary and applied setting. The social science investigations envisaged by the project will support engineering and  new infrastructure systems. The project investigations are likely to include:

  •  A review of the current articulations of energy, water and infrastructure justice and the extent they meet the requirements of a just transition (leaving no-one behind), future generations, non-Western ideologies, past injustices and the environment.
  • The extent that justice principles form part of ethical and responsible science and engineering practices in relation to infrastructure projects.
  • What questions or tools could be embedded into science and engineering practices to encourage not just sustainable systems but just systems.

The vision is for the justice agenda to be as mainstreamed as concepts such as resilience and sustainability in this field. There is flexibility in how that is achieved, and the student will be given scope to design, and project plan their PhD with those goals in mind. The student will be based at Cranfield University’s Centre for Energy Systems and Strategy and will have access to projects such as HyPT ( Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) ),  DeSol (Desolination) , industry contacts as well as the Energy and Water Schools. The PhD could be undertaken full time (3 years) or part-time (6 years). 

We also welcome enquiries from students wishing to undertake Masters by Research or PhD study relating to analysis of other aspects of Energy Justice and a Just Transition and would support applications for funded PhD places through the ESRC SENSS Doctoral Training Partnership for October 2024 entry.

At a glance

  • Application deadlineOngoing
  • Award type(s)PhD, MSc by Research
  • Duration of awardPhd - full time-3 years part time-6 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of world
  • Reference numberSWEE0237

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. This project would suit students from a range of backgrounds including social science, law or engineering wishing to undertake social science research. Enquiries are also welcome from potential applicants with relevant experience in the energy or energy-water sectors.


This is a self-funded opportunity so the student would need to source their own funding.

Explore financial support opportunities in our funding pages.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

For further information please contact:
Professor Nazmiye Ozkan or
Dr Elisabeth Shrimpton
For information about applications please contact: E:

If you are eligible to apply for this studentship, please complete the online application form stating the reference number SWEE0237.

Our Values 
Our shared, stated values help to define who we are and underpin everything we do: Ambition; Impact; Respect; and Community. Find out more here. We aim to create and maintain a culture in which everyone can work and study together and realise their full potential. 

Diversity and Inclusion
As an inclusive and diverse doctoral centre, we welcome applications from all highly motivated individuals, regardless of background, identity or disability.