Postdoctoral Researcher (2 posts)


MaREI Centre, College of Engineering & Informatics

Ref. No. NUIG 25-18

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term 12 month contract position as a postdoctoral researcher within the MaREI Centre and the Informatics Research Unit for Sustainable Engineering (IRUSE) at the College of Engineering and Informatics, National University of Ireland, Galway. The positions are funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) through the CDA programme and FP7.

nZEB-RETROFIT: Achieving nearly zero-energy buildings – A lifecycle assessment approach to retrofitting existing buildings

Project objectives

This project focuses on achieving low energy sustainable buildings using a lifecycle assessment approach. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of innovative technologies for retrofitting existing buildings, regarding their structural, environmental and energy performance, and their influence on health, safety and comfort of building users. This project will provide strategically important products and tools to transform existing buildings into retrofitted high performance sustainable buildings with high energy efficiency, low costs and optimal user comfort.

Project motivation

People spend approximately 90% of their lives indoors. Thus, it is very important to maintain safe, healthy and comfortable conditions in buildings – our living and working environments.
It is estimated that buildings in Europe waste €270 billion each year in energy costs and that if addressed 530,000 full time jobs would be created and 460 million tons of CO2 would be saved annually. Retrofitting is recognised as the most immediate, pressing and cost effective mechanism to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the building and construction sector. It is necessary to double or triple the current retrofitting rate to reach the EU short and long term goals of an energy reduction of 20% by 2020 and a CO2 reduction of between 80% and 95% by 2050. The timeframe left to develop innovative technologies and business models in line with 2050 ambitions is less than 10 years. This project addresses some of these challenges through a multi-layered approach. That is (i) development of innovative technologies and systems for prefabricated façade elements for the building retrofit; (ii) evaluation of the influence of advanced retrofit technologies on indoor environments, including health, safety and comfort of building occupants; (iii) development of a CEN standards-driven, systematic Building Information Modelling (BIM) approach to building retrofitting, with a holistic package of solutions for Ireland; (iv) methodical assessment to CEN standards of Irish buildings from a lifecycle energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions perspective, and (v) development of socio-technical innovations and action plans for more sustainable buildings, primarily focussed on behavioural change of building users.

Project deliverables

The proposed project comprises laboratory-scale research, on site full-scale research based on real-time data, numerical modelling and desktop research. It is divided into seven work packages (WP), as follows:

WP1 Project management.

WP2 Manufacturing of prefabricated modules for renovation of buildings

WP3 Influence of building envelopes on indoor environments in low-energy buildings

WP4 Deep retrofitting of existing building stock

WP5 Environmental life cycle assessment analysis of buildings: towards nearly zero-energy buildings

WP6 Socio-economic research on energy efficiency

WP7 Dissemination activities

Primary candidate tasks / objectives

The postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for the day to day co-ordination of tasks and personnel and will be required to work principally on WP 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 and will help three PhD students to set up the laboratory experiments and numerical models (WP 2, 3 and 4). The successful candidate will join the project team that comprises of a Principal Investigator, three collaborative staff members (civil engineering, mechanical engineering and social sciences) and 3 PhD students. Specific tasks of the postdoctoral researcher(s) will include, but is not limited to:

•Contribute to a specified programme of research and scholarship under the supervision and direction the Principal Investigator.

•Define research objectives and proposals for own (or joint) research in line with research strategy whilst contributing to the research programme of the unit. This will be under general guidance of the Principal Investigator.

•Determine appropriate methodologies for research as appropriate.

•Keep up to date with research related methods and techniques, in particular, developments in the specific research area.

•Have knowledge and understanding of the policy, practices and procedures, relevant to the role, which may include broader University/ sector/ external sponsor or funder (e.g. Commercial Awareness, Research Ethics, Knowledge Transfer, Patents, Intellectual Property Rights, Health and Safety, Equal Opportunities & Diversity).

•Publish research frequently in high quality, peer-reviewed journals and compliant with the publication process.Each postdoctoral researcher will be expected to contribute to at least 3 international peer-reviewed journal papers each year, as well conference papers.

•Write, or contribute to the writing of, strong research and grant proposals, such as Horizon2020 and other funding applications.

•Present on research progress and outcomes e.g. to bodies supervising research; conferences, steering groups; other team members, and works with industry and other relevant external bodies to keep research relevant, as agreed with the PI / project leader.

•Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research with the support of and under the supervision of your Principal Investigator as appropriate.

•Engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities to develop their own career reputation and career development as outlined, discussed and agreed with PI without adversely impacting the primary research role.

•If appropriate, contribute to teaching /tutoring/mentoring for personal career development that shall not exceed 50 hours per annum per researcher in the School of Engineering & Informatics and under the close supervision of a fulltime academic member of the School. The extent of this must not adversely impact the primary research role.

•Develop his/her career reputation and career development.

•Subject to school approval, may act as co-supervisor or be a member of a supervision panel.

•May act as mentor to foreign students on undergraduate placement/ internships.

•Build up collaborative links and networks with other schools, disciplines, organisations and keeps up to date with research in own area and what is happening in the international research community.

•Dissemination of research, impact, influence and engagement.

•Assist with weekly group meetings with the view to chairing them in the absence of the PI

•Manage his/herown personal and research resources (including where required, laboratories, and specialist equipment) as appropriate.

•Responsible for data and laboratory notebooks, archiving procedure and security. Know the legal requirements regarding data protection and confidentiality data protection requirements.

•Effectively plan research and estimate the time and resources required to complete it, and deliver on schedule under the supervision of the PI and as set out in the milestones for the research project.

•Where appropriate, work with PI to register patents to protect intellectual property.

• She/he will also be required to help with other tasks when feasible.

Essential requirements

  • Honours Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, environmental engineering, material science, or a related discipline;
  • A PhD in a related field, or 5+ years equivalent industry/research based experience;
  • The candidate will be expected to have published peer-reviewed journal papers, as well as presented results at international conferences;
  • Expertise in energy efficiency of buildings and/or building retrofit;
  • Excellent technical writing skills;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to work well within a team.

Desirable requirements

  • 3+ industry / postdoctoral research based experience;
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to interpret engineering drawings and specifications;
  • Experience of data management and data analysis;
  • Experience in life cycle assessment;
  • Experience in policy-relevant research in the field of sustainability;
  • Experience in socio-economic research in energy efficiency;
  • Experience in laboratory testing and field measurements;
  • Knowledge of thermodynamics and heat transfer;
  • Experience in numerical simulation (i.e. FE, CFD);
  • Knowledge of statistical methods;
  • Experience in proposal writing;
  • Experience in student supervision.

Salary €39,138-€43,828 per annum Start date:1 March 2018

To Apply:

Please submit the following;

  • Full Curriculum Vitae;
  • Covering letter;
  • Contact details of three references.

All of the required documentation should be sent by email to under the subject: nZEB-RETROFIT. Alternatively, the documentation may be sent by regular post to Dr Jamie Goggins, Civil Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Please ensure to put, in subject line of e-mail application, the reference: nZEB-RETROFIT NUIG 025-18

Further information:

nZEB-RETROFIT project:

Civil Engineering at National university of Ireland, Galway:

IRUSE-Galway group website:

National University of Ireland, Galway:

Living in Ireland:

Moving to Ireland:

For additional information about this post please contact:
Dr. Jamie Goggins, Senior Lecturer, Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics,National University of Ireland, Galway.

Tel: +353-91-492609; E-mail:

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm on Friday 9thFebruary 2018

National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunity employer.