Dissertation Scholarship £2000

The MSc ReSET programme is taught in person over the course of an academic year at the HWU Orkney campus in Stromness. Students who are accepted to the programme are invited to apply for the ICNZ Transition Engineering Scholarship. In order to be eligible for the scholarship, the student must enrol in the 1-year in-person programme in Orkney. The student must also work with the ICNZ research group to define a Transition Engineering project for their A11ET Energy Transition Lab, and subsequently further explore the topic for their Dissertation. Applicants should send a CV with academic and employment history, plus a statement of interest (500 words) in one of the topics listed below to the ICNZ Transition Lab Research Director, Professor Susan Krumdieck s.krumdieck@hw.ac.uk and selections and notifications will be made by 15 August. The available projects have post-doctor or PhD student mentors and collaborators.


Transition Engineering Research Dissertation Topics for 2023/24

  • Energy for Residential Essential Needs: Design and model a utility rate structure for a public good supply circuit in homes to test out the idea of ending energy poverty by providing a 5kW max circuit for essential loads at affordable fixed charge per month.  Knowledge of electric utilities, regulations, electricity markets or household energy end use would be helpful. Skills Developed: Asset Forward Planning, regulation and rate structures. Mentor: Dr. Paolo Cherubini
  • Net Zero SchoolRun Certification: Imagine that 150 schools take on the NZSR learning and action programme (developed with our Transition Lab group and a local school), build their school rules and achieve the Net Zero goal (80% of school travel is zero carbon, and the school community has offsetting nature regeneration projects) how would their net zero certification be achieved? Knowledge of transport engineering, GIS, or data acquisition and analysis would be helpful. Mentor: PhD student Florian Ahrens, local school teacher, Aquatera
  • The BigDO: Develop a VenSim dynamic systems model of a SIM Upstream Oil Co. to investigate the logistics and implications of production slow-down and the economics of alternative path investments. Knowledge of oil production industry would be helpful. Mentor: PhD student Jack Boulton
  • Fuel Risk and Resilience:  Islands communities rely on petroleum based fuel for primary production, manufacture, freight and personal transport. Island and rural communities are the most vulnerable to fuel supply disruption and price shocks. In this project, the companies that provide fuel will be engaged and a novel retail management system will undergo concept generation and design investigation. Knowledge of transport engineering or online booking systems would be helpful.
  • Sustainable Fishing for a Living:  Fishing villages are disappearing – well at least the fishermen are disappearing. This project works with the available data and with the fishing professionals in Orkney to design a digital asset that could help to shore up the prospects for sustainable fishing for a living. Knowledge of fishing industry and digital human interface would be helpful. Mentor: PhD student Meng Wu
  • A Place to Call Home: The market, finance, policy, land use planning, construction and consent system is responsible for the housing affordability crisis across most of the world. This project explores a Transition Engineering solution that involves self-organising theory and other innovations… which could undo the mess we are in. Knowledge of land use and GIS would be helpful. Mentor: PhD student Meg Bartholomew
  • Our Daily Bread: Food is a fundamental requirement for wellbeing. Our western societies are awash in food, so much so that obesity is a massive problem. But doesn’t all that food require use of fossil fuel? This project looks at the resilience of a local food supply and the way to understand the risks of the food freight supply chain, especially in lifeline communities like islands. Knowledge of freight, logistics, operations research and surveying methods could be helpful.
  • Employer Accommodation: A previous Transition Engineering MSc dissertation developed an innovative concept for how to achieve the energy and health retrofits that are needed in the next decade for homes in the UK. Take this concept and develop it to the next level. The concept is a scheme for employer cooperatives that own rental accommodation within active access of their premises. This is the one case where it would be in the building owner’s interest to have low energy costs, healthy living conditions and low rent costs for their tenants, so it could be a solution for working people. Knowledge of property, building energy systems, retrofitting, policy or finance would be useful.
  • Getting Stuff Around: This project is a modelling exploration of a forward operating environment for floating wind. Can you build simple toy models of wind farms in the North Sea, and an electrified version of the national rail network to see what would happen? Power engineering and electric rail background would be helpful.