First Seminar and Workshop in new TSBE Centre

On the 3rd November 2016 the TSBE Centre held its first seminar and workshop session in its new offices. This was also the first seminar since staff and students from the Energy Research Group merged with the TSBE Centre. It is hoped that this collaboration will broaden the research and impact of the industrial doctorate centre and continue to produce applicable real world solutions.

Presentations were given by current students; Eric Dede, Katie McCausland and Dr Timur Yunusov. These focused on their current research areas and the methodologies they are using to obtain data.


Dr Timur Yunusov presenting his work at the TSBE seminar in the new boardroom

Following these updates, there was an introduction to the VR Suite and a chance to have a hands-on experience with some of the specialist equipment used by students conducting research within the centre.


Stephen Lowe being instructed on the VR Suite equipment by fellow TSBE Student Josh Eadie

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Architectures First Public Lecture

The School of Architecture are pleased to announce that their first public lecture of the Autumn term will be presented by John Worthington MBE.

John Worthington, academic and practitioner, is currently a Commissioner of the Independent Transport Commission, leading the review of the spatial impact of high-speed rail.

John studied at the Architectural Association in London, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, before co-founding DEGW, a global design consultancy in 1973.

This lecture is focused on DEGW, looking at design, learning and practice over the past five decades and on into the future.

If you would like to attend this lecture please register using the link below

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The Smell of Roman History!

We have all walked around ruins and tried hard to picture what life for those who once lived in them. Now a team from Reading University has created a virtual reality experience including how it would have sounded and smelled 2,000 years ago.

Dr Ian Ewart’s virtual reality model of Roman Silchester, complete with authentic smells, was shown on BBCs South Today and can be viewed here:

As well as being an educational tool this will have wider practical uses, such as helping us build a better hospital: you might think that one of the characteristics is the smell, and the sounds within it. When developing a building like that, if you can incorporate some of those senses into it, you will hopefully come up with a more realistic design.

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New funding available for Part-Time PhDs for Employees

The TSBE Centre and the School of the Built Environment welcomes new applications from employees who are interested in part-time PhD research whilst remaining in employment. The Wilkie Calvert Award provides funding to cover the cost of tuition fees for part-time study for up to five years. There are 2 funding rounds available each year.

This new scheme is designed to help the University of Reading to build research focused partnerships with selected employers and to support the career development of their talented individuals.

For more information please see:
For more details of this exciting opportunity please contact:
David Miller, Industry Liaison Manager
0118 378 5417

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Read Gary Middlehurst’s feature ‘Beyond the Workplace’ published in BSRIA Delta T magazine

Research Engineer Gary Middlehurst expanded on his recent TSBE Conference paper http://gary middlehurst paper 2016 in an article for the Delta T magazine published by BSRIA. This article is available here:




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New PhD candidate joins TSBE Centre & Costain for Urban Energy Rhythms joint research

Meet Patrick Agese who would be working on a new four-year PhD research project “Urban Energy Rhythms” which aims to create an understanding of the current energy infrastructure systems and develop design recommendations for improving future energy generating and management assets.  

Patrick Agese

The research project will draw on existing research and expertise at the University of Reading with the aim of modelling different energy scenarios across different infrastructure systems underpinning the importance of infrastructure in smart cities.

Prior to undertaking this PhD research project, Patrick worked on large energy demand reduction projects at Givaudan and developed energy performance contracts at Anesco.  He is also a sustainability enthusiast and has dedicated his professional career to developing sustainable energy solutions beginning from a tender age of 11.  

Patrick commented: “I’m very delighted to be provided with this opportunity to contribute to Costain’s leading innovation in engineering. I aim to provide the technical knowledge and leadership necessary for achieving a secure, sustainable and cost effective energy infrastructure. This research would assist in positioning Costain as a leader in providing innovative solutions for the future energy system.”

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32nd Annual ARCOM Conference

32nd Annual ARCOM Conference

Between Monday 5th and Wednesday 7th September 2016, the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) 32nd Annual Conference was held in Manchester, UK. The conference covered a wide range of themes from ‘Mega Projects’ to ‘House Building’. Out of 360 entries, 127 final papers were accepted. I had the privilege of being able to present the latest stage of my research as part of the ‘Through-life Performance Management’ session, under the title of “A Soft Systems Methodology Approach to the Improvement of a Housing Association’s Defects Management and Learning Systems”. The conference was an ideal opportunity to face interesting questions about the research. One of the highlights of the conference for me personally was the session on house building, where defects, production strategies and customer satisfaction in one of the construction industry’s “less fashionable”, but hugely important areas were discussed with enthusiasm.

Tony Hopkin

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TSBE Centre celebrates Women in Engineering Day

The School of the Built Environment and the School of Systems Engineering held a Women in Engineering Day networking lunch, featuring a variety of fun engineering challenges, hosted by SSE’s Professor Rachel McCrindle and the TSBE Centre.

National Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and to focus attention on the amazing career opportunities available to women in this sector. More information on the campaign can be found here20160623_133153

20160623_133259Participants competed for prizes in a ‘marshmallow tower’ contest, building replica Eiffel Towers with nothing but tape, string, spaghetti and a marshmallow. There was also a quiz highlighting the achievements of famous women engineers, and a Europe inspired lego building task. Creations ranged from the EU flag to the Bristol Suspension Bridge and joint winner were the Parthenon and the Reichstag, built by TSBE’s own Stacey Waring and Thomas Chung.

20160623_135920 IMG_0825


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Fully Funded iCASE PhD Research Studentship Opportunity Project Title: “Urban Energy Rhythms”

 Fully Funded iCASE PhD Research Studentship Opportunity

Project Title: “Urban Energy Rhythms”

Based at Costain’s Maidenhead offices in Berkshire and the University of Reading

Closing Date for Applications:  10 June 2016

Active management of energy demand will be an essential part of our future smart cities, and as a consequence, fundamental assumptions must be reflected in system design from the outset. Energy demand can only be managed in so far as either the user is prepared to forego an energy service (discretionary) or the system includes built-in (latent) energy storage. If neither of these criteria is met, flexible supply or additional energy storage will likely be needed in preference to demand management.

 Working with UK construction leader Costain, whose catalogue of awards recognise them as best innovators of technologies for construction and by applying your research within their most influential projects, you will combine modelling at different levels of complexity to enable simulations and analysis of different energy scenarios within mixed use developments that span commercial and residential communities.

This project will model the energy behaviour of distinct development components and develop design recommendations for optimising the deployment of energy assets including local generation and energy storage.

The main objectives of this research, include:

  • Establish and define relevant energy use types, related to distinct development components or assets, e.g. domestic homes, commercial offices, sports venue, rail hub etc.
  • Establish quantitative energy characteristics for each component type, drawing on statistical and signal processing techniques.
  • Model the energy interactions between component types for a case study development. A multi scale modelling approach is envisaged to break down complexity in a manner that can be related to usable design decisions.
  • Explore the value of energy balancing options, including the interplay between sources and sinks of energy and how additional systems, such as energy storage, should be specified and controlled in order to maximize benefits and minimize costs
  • Develop the modelling tool and / or accompanying design recommendations into a form that can support energy infrastructure design decision.

 Your work will be supported by the TSBE Centre within the University of Reading, a dynamic and well-funded, EPSRC doctoral training centre that drives collaborative research within technologies for the sustainable built environment with a programme of helping over 40 Research Engineers to become the thought leaders of the future.  We are seeking ambitious, enthusiastic individuals who are self-motivated and tenacious.  Successful candidates will also be capable of engaging effectively with wider colleagues, business partners and clients. Excellent organisational and communication skills are required. A keen interest to engage in industry focussed research is essential.

 The research will be supervised within the School of the Built Environment by Dr. Phil Coker and Associate Professor Dr. Ben Potter.

 4 Year Package

  • Stipend of £20,000 p.a.
  • All tuition fees are included
  • Expenses package included
  • PhD awarded by the University of Reading


Applicants should have a background and strong interest in energy and its management in future built environments.  To qualify academically, candidates must possess a good relevant first degree (2:1 or higher) or MSc in a related area. Experience of computer simulation tools and knowledge of power system principles are desirable.

Please note there are eligibility requirements, for more details refer to the EPSRC web site


Applications should be made online through our website at:

Please ensure that you also upload a full CV and Personal Statement with your online application.

Vacancy Reference No: P11-2016

Post to start:  October 2016

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TSBE Energy Seminar – Demand side management opportunities for end users

This popular seminar series returns to University of Reading today to discuss ‘demand side management opportunities for end users’ with an wide audience drawn from industry, academia and energy professionals.

energy seminar

The presentations featured each speaker’s unique perception of the topic:

The seminar was opened by Dr Phil Coker, University of Reading and Mr Gary Cranford from Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce.

  • Dr Jacopo Torriti, University of Reading – The changing landscape of demand side managment
  • Rustin Cooper, Marks & Spencer and Laura Daniel’s, University of Reading & Marks & Spencer – A customer’s perspective
  • Charlie Edwards, SSE – The network View
  • Yoav Zinger, KiWi Power – Engaging smaller users with demand response

See Laura’s research with University of Reading & Marks & Spencer here: Supermarkets and the smart grid

WEB_supermarkets smart grid_Page_1WEB_supermarkets smart grid_Page_2


Mitchell Curtis works with University of Reading and KiWi Power on demand side response for SMEs, see his research here: Demand side response




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