Transitioning the Shipbuilding and Repair Sector to Net Zero: A Systemic Analysis of Carbon Impact.



Renewable Energy is one of the fastest growing sectors addressing the most important challenges of our age.  Offshore renewables, energy distribution, and the environmental impacts of constructing and decommissioning the infrastructure are some one of the most pressing research themes faced by the UK.  The Net Zero Maritime Energy Solutions Centre for Doctoral Training is creating the future specialist workforce needed by our industrial partners through PhD projects finding solutions to industrial needs. We have a number of projects available, so please search for N0MES if you’re interested in net zero, sustainability, low carbon renewable energy research.

This Project

Maritime 2050’s vision and ambitions for the future of the British Maritime sector has brought critical focus on the green credentials of shipbuilding and repair. As much as 50% of the carbon impact of a marine asset is situated in its manufacture and maintenance, as opposed to through its operation. With the focus on reaching net zero intensifying across all industries, the pursuit of greener and cleaner shipyard practices is more important than ever.

Shipyards are complex facilities based on the nature of work they undertake and are generally unique in their setup and layout. In addition, they are often the culmination of decades of upgrades and retrofits to what was originally a 19th Century facility. Consequently, it is a complex task to fully understand the carbon credentials of each facility. Rising to this necessary challenge, this research project will aim to fully understand and quantify a UK shipyard’s carbon emissions across its entire operation. The purpose of this research is so that the shipyard can accurately ‘see’ the problem, and as such make informed changes to address it. As part of this research, the true carbon benefit into an existing electrification programme will also be undertaken, and will be used to underpin the data collection and research methods of a shipyard-wide assessment. The expansive and unique nature of the shipyard will require development of data collection and research methods, and direct application of the formulated approach by the researcher on site will be achieved with support from the existing facilities team.

The candidate is expected to enjoy and be competent at problem solving, and be able to effectively draw clarity and logical process from imperfect existing data. The research will form the cornerstone of future green upgrades to the shipyard and, hence, have a direct impact on the UK’s ability to achieve its Maritime 2050 targets.


Industrial partner: Cammell Laird




The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Net Zero Maritime Energy solutions (N0MES) has a 4-year funded PhD place available for an exceptional researcher. With the support of the University of Liverpool (UoL), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and 33 maritime energy sector partners, N0MES PGRs will pursue new, engineering-centred, interdisciplinary research to address four vital net zero challenges currently facing the North West, the UK and beyond:

a) Energy generation using maritime-based renewable energy (e.g. offshore wind, tidal, wave, floating solar, hydrogen, CCS);

b) Distributing energy from offshore to onshore, including port- and hinterland-side impacts and opportunities;

c) Addressing the short- and long-term environmental impacts of offshore and maritime environment renewable energy generation, distribution and storage; and

d) Decommissioning and lifetime extension of existing energy and facilities.


We want all of our staff and Students to feel that Liverpool is an inclusive and welcoming environment that actively celebrates and encourages diversity. We are committed to working with students to make all reasonable project adaptations including supporting those with caring responsibilities, disabilities or other personal circumstances. For example, If you have a disability you may be entitled to a Disabled Students Allowance on top of your studentship to help cover the costs of any additional support that a person studying for a doctorate might need as a result.

We believe everyone deserves an excellent education and encourage students from all backgrounds and personal circumstances to apply.

Applicant Eligibility

Candidates will have, or be due to obtain, a Master’s Degree or equivalent from a reputable University in an appropriate field of Engineering. Exceptional candidates with a First Class Bachelor’s Degree in an appropriate field will also be considered.


Application Process

Candidates wishing to apply should complete the University of Liverpool application form [How to apply for a PhD - University of Liverpool] applying for a PhD in Engineering or Environmental Sciences and uploading: Degree Certificates & Transcripts, an up-to-date CV, two academic references and a supporting statement [maximum 300 words] detailing; what inspires you within this project, how your skill set matches the project, up to 3 examples showing your commitment to science, piece of science that excites you & anything else to support your application.

Candidates wishing to discuss the research project should contact the primary supervisor NAME [], those wishing to discuss the application process should discuss this with the CDT Manager Matt Fulton [].



Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

The EPSRC funded Studentship will cover full tuition fees of £4,786 per year and pay a maintenance grant for 4 years, starting at the UKRI minimum of £19,237 pa. for 2024-2025. The Studentship also comes with access to additional funding in the form of a research training support grant which is available to fund conference attendance, fieldwork, internships etc.

EPSRC Studentships are available to any prospective student wishing to apply including international students. Up to 30% of our cohort can comprise of international students and they will not be charged the fee difference between UK and international rate.