The global cooling demand has been rapidly increasing in the past decades and will continue to grow. By 2050, approximately 7 billion people will live in cooling-dominated regions, such as South Asia, South-East Asia, Middle East, Africa, Central and South America. A sustainable approach to cooling is needed since business-as-usual will lead to increasing greenhouse gases emissions from the sector. This self-funded PhD opportunity will investigate how active cooling and passive cooling technologies can help in achieving sustainable cooling. Systems approaches will be implemented to assess the performance and potential interactions of various cooling technologies.

Cooling demand is increasing globally due to climate change and economic growth. According to the International Energy Agency, close to 7 billion people will be living in cooling-dominated regions by 2050. In terms of electricity consumption, space cooling will use the same amount as China and India do today. Thus, Net-Zero and climate change targets may be derailed if the cooling sector is not decarbonised.

This research project will focus on developing sustainable cooling solutions through better integration of active and passive cooling technologies. Active cooling such as air conditioners/heat pumps will play a vital role in decarbonising the global cooling system. Therefore, improving their technical, environmental, and economic performance is vital. Furthermore, in assessing the potentials of passive and active cooling technologies in buildings, the traditional approach of evaluating a building in isolation from its surroundings would not be adequate due to the multi-scale nature of cooling. This project will use multi-scale systems approaches to simultaneously consider cooling equipment, buildings, occupants, energy systems, and microclimate in assessing passive and active cooling solutions. 

The successful candidate will work within Cranfield’s Energy and Sustainability research theme. This research supports existing work on sustainable cooling and heating at the Centre for Energy Engineering. The academic and research staff at the Centre have strong track records in developing and optimising thermal energy systems.

There is potential for the PhD research outcome to have a wider impact than academic settings. Cooling is a global issue and knowledge generation towards sustainable cooling can have significant impacts on people around the world. In addition to publishing results in academic journals, the student will have the opportunity to disseminate the work at international conferences, stakeholders’ workshops, and trade publications.

In this PhD project, the student will closely collaborate with our existing collaborators in academia, industry, and national/local authorities. The systems approach also provides opportunities for multi-disciplinary collaborations.

The PhD student will gain highly transferable technical and soft skills. The student will develop computational and optimisation models using commercial software and general programming languages. During PhD training, students develop soft skills such as presenting, report writing, collaborating, networking, and project management skills.

At a glance

  • Application deadline15 Nov 2023
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date08 Jan 2024
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of World
  • Reference numberSWEE0217


Dr Renaldi Renaldi

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first- or upper second-class UK honours degree or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering, Energy Engineering, Building Technology or a related discipline.


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: 
Dr Renaldi Renaldi

If you are eligible to apply for this studentship, please complete the online application form

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