Postdoctoral Research Position

The economic, environmental, and social feasibility of implementing gravitational energy storage systems in Ireland

Role profile
Dublin City University is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher for a 12 month position.

The primary objectives of this project are to assess the economic feasibility, and the environmental and societal impact of implementing gravity battery energy storage (GBES) systems at disused mine sites around Ireland. A survey of disused mine sites will be conducted and assessed on the basis of geological conditions; practical implementation; historical, preservation, and ecological constraints; and proximity to current and planned renewable energy systems. Upon identification of suitable candidate sites, a demonstration-scale prototype system will be designed and built for proof of concept. The project aims to provide a clear understanding of how national and sub-national adaptation governance processes work and interact across sectors. It will seek to increase knowledge for specific sectors
underperforming with respect to adaptation implementation.

Funding has been provided by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to DCU to undertake this project. The successful candidate will primarily work with Dr. Jimmy O’Keeffe from the School of History and Geography and project partners in the School of Mechanical
and Manufacturing Engineering and DCU.

Duties and Responsibilities
Reporting to the project’s Principal Investigators, the Postdoctoral Researcher will perform research based both in DCU and in the field to explore the feasibility, and the environmental and societal impact of implementing gravity battery energy storage (GBES) systems at disused mine sites around Ireland. The role will entail a comprehensive desktop review of abandoned and unused mines around Ireland. The review will report on the type of mine, its condition, its vertical depth, geophysical structure and proximity to renewable energy systems.
The review will also report on any historical or ecological conservation constraints associated with the location. Following the review, an on-site assessment of the candidate sites will then be conducted. The findings from the assessments will then be used to select the most suitable sites for system modelling based on a selection of key criteria. A topographical model of the sites will also be created forming a key component of subsequent work packaged to determine the most suitable system configuration for the built prototype.The main duties and responsibilities include:
● Undertaking a comprehensive literature review of potential sites in Ireland
● Carrying out field work in potential sites around Ireland
● Conducting interviews and convening meetings with key stakeholders
● Participating in project meetings and responding to feedback on report drafts in a timely manner
● Overseeing the timely completion of project deliverables and regular progress reports
● Preparing and publishing necessary analyses in support of the reports and journal articles
● Presenting the key findings to various stakeholders nationally and internationally

Qualifications and Experience
Applicants must have a PhD in Geology/Geophysics/Civil Engineering ideally with a focus on mines.
Relevant postdoctoral research experience or equivalent would be an advantage.
The ideal candidate will have:
● Strong research profile
● Track record of peer reviewed academic publications
● Excellent empirical research, analytical, and writing skills
● Proven ability to work in an interdisciplinary setting
● Strong interpersonal and organisational skills
● Ability to communicate effectively to both academic and practitioner audiences
● Experience in conducting interviews with key stakeholders
● Knowledge of the Irish mining geology

Salary Scale: IUA Postdoctoral Researcher salary scale (€42,033 – €48,427)

Contract Duration: 1 year

Appointment will be made commensurate with qualifications and experience, and will be made on the appropriate point of the salary scales, in line with current government pay policy.
Interested candidates should send their CV and Cover letter to Dr Jimmy O’Keeffe Closing date for applications is Friday September 29th 2023.

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