Real-time risk assessment of meteorological hazards to coastal energy infrastructure


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.


Project Description

Coastal energy infrastructure is exposed to a range of meteorological hazards, including lightning, extremes in temperature, wind loading and rainfall that can lead to the inundation of assets. Major advances have occurred in providing real-time, asset-scale alerts of flooding, but no such advance has occurred for other meteorological hazards than can lead to damage to assets. This lack of progress is despite a recent explosion in the volume and variety of weather data, as modern meteorological instruments become more capable and ubiquitous.

Previously weather data was primarily limited to temperature, barometer, and other readings obtained at dispersed weather stations. Today's weather data is supplemented with information from an expanding network of satellites, remote sensors, radar stations, weather balloons, and other sources. Weather forecasts can be accessed anytime, anywhere via mobile apps and the internet, and they are updated frequently throughout the day in response to changing conditions. Now that this information is widely accessible, people can modify their plans and behaviours to reduce the damage caused by weather. Thus there is great potential to provide real-time forecasts to the energy industry of the meteorological risk posed to infrastructure, allowing the industry to optimise operational response, prevent outages and protect assets from damage.

The project aims to realise this potential by utilising weather forecast data to provide a suite of visualisation tools for mapping the electricity assets at joint risk from meteorological hazards. The platform will provide forecasts of the extent and magnitude of damaging hazards in and around assets and the probability of these hazards occurring. Combined together, these forecasts will produce multi-hazard, exposure and vulnerability maps from which risk heat maps will be visualised. These maps will be remodelled and updated with the latest weather forecast data. This information will be used to automatically grade the criticality of risks, providing energy network partners with the tools they need to prepare for and respond to a storm event, ultimately building weather resilience into energy network assets.


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. 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 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 [], 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.