Creative immersive technologies for decarbonisation:

Developing immersive experiences to engage the public with domestic decarbonisation


An opportunity to apply for a full-time PhD in the Faculty of the Environment and Technology. The studentship will be funded or part-funded by the Faculty of Environment and Technology: Ref 2022-JAN-FET12.

The expected start date of this studentship is January 2022.

The closing date for applications is 14 October 2021.

About the studentship

To meet 2050 Net-Zero Emissions (NZE) ambitions, near-complete uptake of low-carbon heating (LCH) systems and retrofit is urgently needed. Key to this uptake is behaviour change, which will demand innovation to enhance and study public perceptions of the heating and cooling challenge.

The PhD will explore how immersive technologies can enable the transition to efficient, decarbonised and sustainable technology. The project will bring together expertise from the creative technologies and the built environment. The project will address the question, can interactive and immersive experiences enhance the public understanding of domestic energy challenges and lead to sustainable consumer decision-making?

This new interdisciplinary PhD is an excellent opportunity for a postgraduate student to pursue world-leading and novel research, a range of different career paths, and a stimulating intellectual life. 

The student will be based in the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment and span across three departments:

The supervisory team will include Dr Deborah Adkins (Wallscourt Fellow in Sustainable Buildings), Dr Tom Mitchell (Associate Professor in Creative Technologies), Professor Mandy Rose  (Professor in Documentary and Digital Cultures), and Professor Bill Gething (Professor of Architecture).

As such, the student will have access to a wide network of professionals and be expected to develop independence, build a cross-departmental network, working across all three departments, engaging in the academic community through conference presentations and directly feed into UWE Bristol Strategy 2030: Transforming Futures

This is an exciting opportunity to develop and showcase new immersive technologies and work at the interface between built environment and creative professionals, with the potential to make a real-world difference in the effort to decarbonise our homes and buildings and support climate change action.  

Candidate requirements

Basic skills and knowledge required:


Excellent analytical skills and computer science or creative technologies expertise with a background understanding in one or more of the following:

  • Immersive experience development
  • Augmented reality 
  • Virtual reality
  • Human-computer interaction 


  • You have programming skills (e.g., in C#, C/C++, Python) and ideally, experience in Unity or Unreal Engine, TensorFlow and OpenCV. 
  • Additionally, you should have experience of interdisciplinary working.
For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Deborah Adkins (


The studentship is available from January 2022 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend of £15, 609 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years.


Applicants must have a good first degree or, ideally, will have a Masters. The studentship is available both for UK and overseas applicants.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted, use the reference number 2022-JAN-FET12.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form. 

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing date

The closing date for applications is 14 October 2021.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place on the weeks commencing 1 and 8 November 2021. If you have not heard from us by 28 October 2021, we thank you for your application but, on this occasion, you have not been successful.

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