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PhD Research Studentship

This is an excellent opportunity to join a growing research team and develop a range of highly desirable transferable skills within engineering and precision agriculture principles applied to livestock production.

For intensive pig producers, rising energy prices are a serious concern, as significant amount of energy is directly used for the ventilation and space heating of animals. The application of novel materials and energy saving techniques has been given high priority in the built environment in recent times. Such adaptation measures can reduce energy costs significantly for the pig industry, as there is a growing need to adopt climate-adaptation measures for sustainable building use into the future.

The proposed project will analyse the current, most significant, energy saving technologies available for the built environment, ranging from building materials to microclimate control, in an effort to develop energy efficient building configuration for the UK climate of the future. During the project, a wide range of adaptation measures will be evaluated for indoor building environmental performance (thermal comfort), as well as heating and cooling energy consumption. The focus will be on adapting the building envelope by developing physical "scaled-down" models and numerical simulation. 'High-resolution whole-building simulation', which refers to the combination of Building Energy Simulation, Building Envelope Heat-Air-Moisture transfer models (BEHAM) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models, will be employed for different climate scenarios. This combination is particularly important for the evaluation of new materials and ventilation and energy conservation techniques for different climatic scenarios. The building envelope adaptation measures to be evaluated will include comfort, energy efficiency as well as active and passive heating/cooling measures, and therefore will allow the feasibility of hybrid natural/mechanical systems for use in pig buildings to be assessed.

This PhD studentship is funded by BPEX, a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board that represents pig levy payers in the UK, along with contributions from HAUC.

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Harper Adams University College