PhD Studentship on “Systems modeling of luminescent light shelves in buildings”

BN-02 PhD Studentship on “Systems modeling of luminescent light shelves in buildings”

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) at Tyndall National Institute, University College, Cork, and supported by Velux Stiftung, invites applications for a PhD Studentship on Systems modelling of luminescent light shelves in buildings. The successful candidate will contribute to the delivery of Velux Stiftung funded project on luminescent spectral-shifting with light-propagation to provide visual and circadian luminance under low-daylight and in poorly-daylit locations.

The Research Programme

Blue light in the wavelength range 460-480mm is effective in maintaining the human circadian clock. The penetration of daylight may not provide sufficient luminance that maintain healthily synchronized biorhythms. Luminescent devices with appropriate spectral shifting can provide lighting conditions that maintain biorhythmic health. Without incurring the energy use associated with artificial lighting. Natural variations in solar illuminance directly produce the output illuminance. These three PhD studentships will research different aspects of bringing such devices to reality.  Further information on the research programme can be found here.

Four year PhD studentships are available supported by a stipend from the Velux Stiftung, Zurich, Switzerland. 

Key responsibilities

This studentship will be focused on the daylighting performance of luminescent light shelves in representative real conditions in buildings.  Full room simulations of luminescent light shelves will be developed using an established dynamic daylight simulation tool. The design optimization of key parameters and components will be investigated. Possible techniques for integration of the developed luminescent devices into buildings including using variable transmittance materials will be proposed and investigated. Validation of simulation results will be made by comparison with laboratory characterizations of performance of proof-of-concept systems carried out via exposure to a range of real ambient daylight conditions.

Other key responsibilities

  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research, as directed by and with the support of senior research staff.
  • Collaborate with other colleagues and end users to achieve the most impactful outcomes
  • Reporting and presenting the work on a regular basis (internal and external)
  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system and required Health & Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

Essential Criteria

  • The minimum academic qualification is a first or upper second class honours degree relevant physical sciences/engineering/architecture/ building sciences discipline (H2.1 minimum) or equivalent
  • Demonstrable English language proficiently is essential.
  • Experience with appropriate lab-equipment, simulation tools and modelling software.
  • An ability to work independently to a schedule.
  • A demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate level.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • High levels of initiative, self-management, achievement-orientation, and motivation are encouraged.

Desirable Criteria

  • A relevant Master’s Degree
  • Good analytical skills and computer skills.
  • Evidence of excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Evidence of excellent time management skills.

This student will be based in the International Energy Research Centre (IERC), Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork.

Lead supervisor: Professor Brian Norton; Co-supervisors : Dr Sarah McCormack, Dr Carlos Ochoa, Dr Padraig Lyons

For any informal queries, please contact Prof Brian Norton,

Each application must comprise of an up-to-date curriculum vitae, copies of qualifications, valid English proficiency test results (if applicable) and a letter indicating the applicant’s suitability to the particular studentship applied for.

An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for the successful candidate for this position plus yearly University Academic Fees will be paid.

Application Instructions

Step 1 – Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference BN-02

Step 2 – Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to Please ensure that your motivation letter, CV and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

Please note that an appointment to posts advertised will be dependent on University approval, together with the terms of the employment control framework for the higher education sector.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.