Masters Studentship - MaREI/ERI

Closing Date for Applications: 14 Feb 2020
School: MaREI Centre / Environmental Research Institute
College: College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: See advert for details

Position Summary

The research is part of the wider Selkie project, which is a Wales/Ireland Interreg funded project. University College Cork (UCC) and Swansea University are the two main collaboration beneficiary partners in the consortium.

Current sensors used for wave and tidal energy technologies do not provide sufficient accuracy, and are too expensive or are not sufficiently robust to operate and survive in harsh marine conditions. The research topic is to improve wave and tidal energy sensor suitability.

Applications are invited for the Masters student in Marine Energy to join the MaREI Centre in University College Cork (UCC), based at Environmental Research Institute’s Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy.

MaREI Centre Background

MaREI is a key research centre within UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI) which is an internationally recognised Institute for environmental research dedicated to the understanding and protection of our natural environment and to developing innovative technologies, tools and services to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon and resource efficient society. The MaREI Centre is an SFI funded research centre headquartered in the ERI and includes 11 other Universities and Third Level Institutes from across Ireland, has 50 industrial partners and has research funding of approximately €60m. It combines the expertise of a wide range of research groups and industry partners, with the shared mission of solving the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the climate, energy and marine spaces. MaREI is also funded by SEAI, EI, EPA, ERDF, EU, HEA, Marine Institute, DCCAE and IRC, as well as through contributions from our industry partners. Researchers in the MaREI Centre have over 30 years of experience in conducting fundamental and applied research supported by competitively won national and international funding, and commercial contracts with government agencies and industry. MaREI’s strengths lie in the multi-disciplinary nature of its research teams, allowing it to combine insights across areas such as MRE Technologies, Materials & Structures, Observations & Operations, Coastal & Marine Systems, Bioenergy, Energy Policy & Modelling and Renewable Energy Management.

Project background

Selkie is an Ireland-Wales INTERREG operation funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Ireland-Wales INTERREG operations are administered by Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO).

Selkie is a 3.5-year project that commenced in June 2019 and has six partners with UCC coordinating the project and leading in a number of work packages.

The aims of the Selkie project are:

  1. Establish a cross-border network of Ocean Energy SMEs and supply chain companies;
  2. Conduct industry-academic collaborative R&D projects;
  3. Transfer R&D knowledge to wave and tidal industry/SME stakeholders, thereby advancing the technology sector as whole;
  4. Assist Irish and Welsh SMEs to progress along the path to commercialisation.

Description of Research topic: Improvement of sensors for Irish and Welsh wave and tidal energy technologies

The aims of the research topic is to design new sensors or modify existing sensors such that they specifically meet the requirements of the wave and tidal industries. Piezoelectric load cells/sensors have been extensively used, where a voltage output is generated by the basic piezoelectric material – proportional to the deformation of load cell. Piezoelectric sensors are fragile to tension and shear forces and therefore usually work with guiding structures. This kind of load cell can afford large force and provide fast dynamic response, which perfectly suits for the wave and tidal applications. In the Selkie project, the requirements of deployment of load cells into harsh environments (wave and tidal) will be investigated, followed by the improvement of such sensors such as guiding structures.

Key duties and responsibilities

The Masters candidate will conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision and direction of Dr. Guangbo Hao, UCC. The research is expected to produce publications in journal papers on marine sensors contributing for the overall Selkie Project. Research work on the Selkie project is suitable for a Masters Thesis and ultimately publication.


  • Minimum first-class honours degree (or equivalent) in engineering.
  • Proven technical competence and accomplishment in analyses of mechatronics.
  • Demonstratable capability of working within a project team and ability to innovate.
  • Good communication, organisation and interpersonal skills.

Funding details: €24,000 stipend per annum. Fees are payable by the student.

Duration: 12 months


For informal enquiries on this studentship candidates should contact:

Name: Mr. TJ Horgan

Title: Project Manager, Selkie


Phone: +353(0) 21 4864314

To Apply:

Please send

  1. Short cover letter describing you motivation for applying for the position and how your experience and expertise match the research topic;
  2. CV

To Ms Gráinne Lynch at, on or before the closing date 14th February 2020.



University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer

PhD Studentship - School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology/School of Chemistry/ERI

Job Posted: 17 Jan 2020
Closing Date for Applications: 30 Apr 2020
School: School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology / School of Chemistry and Environmental Research Institute
College: College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: See advert for details

PhD Studentship in bio-based synthesis and recycling of plastics


  • The PhD research project will investigate biological approaches to both the synthesis and recycling of commonly used polymers and plastics.
  • The PhD student will work under the direct supervision of Dr. Paul Young (School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology) and Prof. Justin Holmes, of the Materials Chemistry and Analysis Group (School of Chemistry and the Environmental Research Institute).
  • The work is funded by Science Foundation Ireland through the AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research) centre, as part of the nascent Sustainable Materials theme within AMBER.
  • The position will be based primarily in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology and School of Chemistry, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Project Concept

  • Ongoing production of plastics from petrochemical sources is unsustainable and contributes to anthropogenic climate change, while the accumulation of plastic waste has potentially catastrophic environmental consequences. Current recycling methods produce recycled plastics of inferior quality to the virgin plastics from which they are produced, limiting their commercial viability.
  • Biological synthesis of the monomers required for plastic production through fermentation and metabolic pathway engineering can potentially reduce our dependence on petrochemicals and represents a more environmentally friendly and sustainable process for plastic production.
  • Conversely, biological approaches involving the identification and optimization of novel enzymatic activities should permit the efficient breakdown of waste plastics to recover their constituent monomers. This will allow the recycling of plastics without the loss of performance associated with current approaches.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • The PhD candidate will conduct a specified programme of research under the supervision of Dr. Young and Prof. Holmes.
  • The successful candidate must be able to work at the interfaces between biology, chemistry and materials science. Significant interdisciplinary interactions with researchers using chemical approaches to address the same questions are anticipated.
  • The research project will employ advanced protein engineering and other cutting-edge techniques in order to develop and optimize novel enzymes and metabolic pathways for the production and recycling of plastics.


Required Qualifications / Experience

  • Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics, microbiology, biotechnology, materials or environmental science or a similar discipline.
  • Enthusiasm and an awareness of environmental issues of materials sustainability in society.
  • Good communication, organisation, interpersonal skills and the ability to work within a project team.

Applicants whose first language is not English must show evidence of English proficiency, please check the minimum requirements at .

Funding details

This full-time PhD position is funded for up to 4 years including a stipend of €18,000 per annum. The studentship will cover fees at the rate for EU students.

For informal enquiries on the post candidates should contact: · Name: Dr Paul Young | Email:  | Phone: (00-353)-21-420-5994

To Apply:

Please send

  1. your C.V. and
  2. a one-page letter outlining any relevant experience and your reasons for wanting to participate in the project,

by email to, on or before the closing date 30/4/2020. Please quote “PhD Studentship” on the subject line of your email.

University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer

Research Support Officer (Junior Software Developer/ IT Specialist), MaREI/ERI

Contact Person : Barry O' Dwyer Contact Email :
Job ID : 040671 Contact Number :  
Close Date : 05-Jun-2020 12:00

Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher / Post-Doctoral Researcher, MaREI/ERI

Contact Person : Dr Barry O'Dwyer Contact Email :
Job ID : 040551 Contact Number :  
Close Date : 09-Jun-2020 12:00

Senior Post-Doctoral Researcher, MaREI/ERI

Contact Person : Dr Gordon Dalton Contact Email :
Job ID : 040492 Contact Number :  
Close Date : 05-Jun-2020 12:00