New €5.8m renewables programme seeks PhD students

A new cross-border renewables project involving universities from Ireland and Scotland is looking to recruit a dozen PhD students.

Known as ‘Renewable Engine’, the four-year programme is being led by South West College in counties Fermanagh and Tyrone, and also includes Queen’s University Belfast, IT Sligo, and  Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Its aim is to scale-up commercial activity in energy and manufacturing, harnessing the renewable resources freely available in the participating countries. Backed by €5.8m in Special EU Programmes Body funding, the hope is that a ‘supercluster’ of research and innovation SMEs will emerge from the project.

“The range of employment opportunities within the energy and manufacturing industries locally is extremely diverse, and the scale of demand for talent is vast,” said lead project partner Dr Jill Cush.

“Many energy and advanced manufacturing technologies are at a key innovation stage and the progress being made by pioneering companies across the UK and Ireland has been nothing short of outstanding.”

“We want to support this growth, and opportunity, by signing up 12 passionate PhD students who want to advance their careers quickly in a practical, focused way. The available academic support and funding will allow them and their partner companies to drive world-class excellence in these exciting and growing areas.”

According to Dr Cush, the successful candidates will be working directly with industry, driving forward strategic projects through research and innovation. Match funding has been provided by the Department for the Economy NI and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland, and those taking part will benefit directly from targeted industrial research support and technology development opportunities.