James-Watt Scholarship Program 2022 at Heriot-Watt University – Edinburgh, UK

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Deadline: January 31, 2022

Applications are open for the James-Watt Scholarship Program 2022. A funded Ph.D. opportunity is available under the James-Watt scholarship program at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, to develop data-driven and data science methods for the decarbonisation of energy and water systems.

It is well known that the Built Environment contributes around 40% of all carbon emissions globally, and that, of this, energy and water consumption make up a significant proportion. Many opportunities therefore exist to help rectify this position and to create meaningful outcomes to support decarbonisation of the construction sector.

This research focuses on the underlying physics of heat dissipation and water flow in buildings, and on the analysis of related demand patterns and associated data using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques. Here, statistical and deep learning methods will be used to identify the optimum method to facilitate analysis so as to allow improved decision-making and define enhanced pathways to Net Zero energy and water usage within buildings. As well as developing and assessing appropriate techniques, the work will draw comparisons with engineering and simulation-based predictions of water and energy consumption. The focus of the research will be on consumption at the building scale, but they envisage a future interface with urban scale demand models.


  • Scholarships will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend of approximately £15,609 for the 36 month duration of the project and is available to applicants from the UK, EU and overseas.


  • Applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent experience).
  • Applicants are expected to possess a Master’s degree in Engineering, Statistics, Data Science or related quantitative fields.
  • An understanding of how to apply deep learning techniques to engineering problems, experience of working with energy and water demand and/or a working knowledge of building performance patterns would be an advantage.
  • It is the intention that the successful candidate will also work closely with high-profile external organisations who will provide access to relevant data.
  • Coding skills in Python and R are highly desirable.


  • Complete the online application form. Select PhD program Construction and include the project reference, title and supervisor names on your application. If these details are not included your application may not be considered. Note that applicants may only submit ONE proposal.
  • Provide a supporting statement outlining how you would approach the research and upload this to the research proposal section of the online application. You will be required to upload a CV, a copy of your degree certificate(s) and relevant transcript(s). You may also upload an academic reference to further support your application.
  • You must provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English). They require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0 or a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 90 points.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit James-Watt Scholarship.