New centre for doctoral training to drive UK’s green industrial revolution

12/04/2024

A major new Centre for Doctoral Training in Green Industrial Futures (CDT-GIF) has launched to help secure the UK’s position at the forefront of the green industrial revolution. The Centre builds upon the pioneering work of the £20 million UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC).

According to European Investment Bank research, over 80% of companies consider skills shortages to be a barrier to their net zero projects.

The CDT-GIF will play a key role in training the next generation of innovators and leaders to deliver the technologies, systems and solutions required to transition UK industry to net zero emissions by 2050.

With a comprehensive research programme spanning carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), green hydrogen, CO 2 removal, energy integration and whole systems design, the CDT’s graduates will develop the expertise and skills to tackle the biggest decarbonisation challenges facing industry.

Alongside a four-year research project, the CDT-GIF students will undertake advanced training in the social, environmental, economic and regulatory aspects of the net zero transition in industry, as well as professional development in areas like business strategy, commercialisation, responsible innovation and policy engagement. Students will also have the unrivalled opportunity to visit some of the world’s leading pilot and demonstration facilities.

Delivered by a consortium of four of the UK’s leading research universities – Heriot-Watt University, Imperial College London, University of Bath and University of Sheffield – the CDT-GIF represents a £18 million investment from UKRI through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer, director of the CDT-GIF and UK industrial decarbonisation champion, said: “The outstanding research and cross-sector partnerships cultivated through IDRIC have paved the way for this ambitious CDT. By building directly on IDRIC’s foundations, we can hit the ground running to produce the doctoral talent and innovation pipeline that UK industry urgently needs to lead the global energy transition.”

This holistic approach will produce graduates with vital cross-disciplinary skills in systems thinking, industrial literacy, and the ability to contextualise and deploy decarbonisation technologies within the wider global system.

Professor Maroto-Valer added:”Our CDT graduates will emerge as true energy transition leaders, not only technical experts, but also multidisciplinary professionals who understand the complex societal implications of decarbonisation and can effectively engage with industry, policymakers and the public.

“Our program will also emphasise the importance of a just transition which accounts for the impacts on workers and communities affected by industrial decarbonisation. Ensuring fairness and creating high-quality employment opportunities will be key social considerations.

“With these future-focused capabilities, our graduates will be ideally positioned to drive the innovation and public acceptance needed for UK industry to remain competitive in a net zero world.”

Exciting research opportunities are available now for prospective students across the CDT’s core themes through a range of funded positions offered through the CDT’s extensive industry partner network.

Ambitious candidates interested in shaping solutions for the UK’s green industrial future should visit the CDT-GIF website or get in touch to explore projects and apply.

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