Current positions

Armando Tura working in the cryogenics lab
Armando Tura working in the cryogenics lab

IESVic researchers are involved in real-world research on critical energy issues. They work with leading companies, institutes, and laboratories on multidisciplinary teams. This ensures a big-picture approach where solutions are shaped by practical considerations - something IESVic grads are known for.

Current opportunities

ReBuild Initiative: Post Doctoral and Graduate Student Positions Available

5 Masters/PhD positions and 2 Post-Doctoral positions available as part of the ReBuild Initiative: Exploring Data-driven Building Energy Retrofit Solutions

Improving existing buildings is critical to achieving energy and carbon emissions reductions and increasing their resilience to climate change and other acute shocks (e.g., earthquakes). The opportunity is immense given that the building renewal rate (2-3%) is comparable to new construction. While some building energy codes and energy efficiency programs provide guidance on appropriate improvements, there is a plethora of options for owners to consider and a lack of clarity on the optimal path forward from the perspectives of technical performance, economic effectiveness, occupant well-being, and building durability. Energy utilities, all levels of government, efficiency program agencies and industry associations can help to address persistent market barriers by enabling beneficial choices through effective policies and programs to optimize investments that improve the whole building stock.
Overall, we need models that can be used to improve policy and guidance documents as well as to improve the ability to target upgrades to specific buildings.

Each project in the ReBuild Initiative is undertaken with a solutions partner who will implement the research findings to achieve improvements to the building stock. The ReBuild Initiative will promote synergies between the methods used by professionals and service providers to recommend solutions for specific buildings and the stock-level tools used by policymakers to understand the interventions required. It will develop a common set of modelling approaches spanning archetype derivation, time-series analysis, portfolio analysis and retrofit decision analysis. A common set of interactive visual exploration tools will allow users to gain insights into the models developed.

Click here for a complete listing of the opportunities available and instructions for applying

The positions will be supervised by Dr Ralph Evins in the Energy in Cities research group. The work will be carried out in the stimulating multi-disciplinary environment of the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) and the new green Civil Engineering department at the University of Victoria on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

PRIMED MASc Position: Tidal Current Monitoring using Drones and Drifters

MASc Position:  Tidal Current Monitoring using Drones and Drifters

Remote communities that are not connected to the main power grid must generate electricity locally, seizing on available resources.  In British Columbia, many such communities (~50) are still reliant on diesel fueled electricity production that comes at high financial, environmental and social cost.  Many of these communities are located near the coast in proximity to a strong tidal resource.  This apparent synergy between tidal energy and BC remote communities has generated considerable interest from both communities and tidal energy project developers.  However, energy systems which use tidal currents to generate predictable electricity are not yet cost competitive with conventional electricity generation and adopting energy system designs based around tidal energy presents risk.   

The first step in mitigating this risk is in understanding the resource.  Knowledge of the tidal flow characteristics informs technology selection, project siting and economic analysis (can enough diesel be saved to balance the cost of the tidal device?).  Conventional approaches to tidal resource assessment use an instrument called an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) to measure currents across the full water column (seabed to sea surface).  While accurate and trusted, the cost of the ADCP sensor and the commercial vessels needed for deployment and recovery are in many cases prohibitive for a local group considering tidal energy.

A lower cost approach to complete early stage resource assessment has been pioneered by Luna Ocean Consulting Ltd of Nova Scotia.  With this approach, passive drifters (such are ice blocks) are jettisoned into the flow and their trajectory is then monitored using consumer-grade drone videography.  By post-processing the video using image recognition and tracking techniques, the location and velocity of each passive drifter can be monitored, providing a rich description of the surface tidal currents in both space and time.  Surface current measurements can be combined with computer models to build a comprehensive descriptions of the resource that in turn informs the deployment of ADCPs.

A graduate position is available under the co-supervision of Dr. Brad Buckham and Dr. Curran Crawford at the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems at the University of Victoria (IESVic).  This student will work with Dr. Crawford, Dr. Buckham and Mr. Greg Trowse of Luna Ocean Consulting on a project to apply the drifter based resource assessment techniques to a BC community.  The student will further develop the drifter tracking algorithm to improve tracking precision.  The bulk of the technical development is expected to be in the development of motion compensation algorithms that use motion sensor data to compensate for drone movements during tracking operations.  The goal is to apply the refined drone-drifter method in a field study assisted by Luna Ocean Consulting.

Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in engineering or science.

  • Knowledge of the Python programming language.

  • Strong writing, conversational and presentation abilities in English.

  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse team

Preferred Experience

  • Exposure to drone technology.
  • An understanding of image recognition software and algorithms.
  • Experience working with GPS and inertial measurement unit sensors.

Timeline

May 2020.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should email Clayton Hiles at cehiles@uvic.ca the subject Drones and Drifters, and attach:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae.
  • A one-page cover letter describing your relevant experience and motivation for the position.
  • Names and contact details for two references.

A downloadable pdf of this opportunity is here.

UVic is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. In pursuit of our values, we seek members who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of power.  We actively encourage applications from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity. Read our full equity statement here.

 

 

MASc and PhD Graduate Student Positions: Solid Carbon

MASc and PhD Graduate Student Positions: System Studies for Renewably Powered Offshore Carbon Sequestration (Solid Carbon)

Pathways to a survivable future climate increasingly suggest that carbon capture and sequestration from the atmosphere will become necessary by mid-century. In advance of that time, research and demonstration projects are required to prove out viable technical solutions to reliability capturing and storing carbon, on a scale that can be deployed globally.

MASc and PhD positions are available in a research sub-project led by Dr. Curran Crawford (who directs the Sustainable Systems Design Lab - ssdl.uvic.ca, and part of IESVic) that is part of a larger Solid Carbon project funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and led of Ocean Networks Canada. The overall goal of Solid Carbon is to examine the technical engineering, geological and social/legal solutions and implications associated with sequestering carbon in basalt rock under the ocean. The initial focus is on an engineering design for the requisite carbon capture (direct air and/or seawater), and CO2 transport and injection into wellheads on the seafloor in ~3000m of water. Students will work on sub-tasks related to determining the requirements for on/offshore direct CO2 capture, and renewable energy systems capable of powering those processes and delivering the CO2 to the well heads. The system design and optimization studies will include a range of options from floating wind and solar plants, through ocean thermal and wave energy, as well as pipeline and tanker options. System and detailed design studies will be carried out for a planned demonstration project in the Cascadia basin off Vancouver Island, and examining the prospects for global deployments.

Requirements

 Master’s or PhD degree in engineering
 Experience in an aspect of energy systems, in particular offshore renewable energy (floating offshore wind ideally), air/seawater capture technology
 Familiarity with and enthusiasm for low/negative-carbon energy systems analysis
 Knowledge of Python, LaTex, Matlab tools for analysis and figure generation
 Strong writing, conversational and presentation abilities in English
 Ability to work effectively in a diverse team

Timeline
Starting January 2020.

How to apply
Interested candidates should email Dr. Crawford at curranc@uvic.ca with the subject Solid Carbon Positions, and attach:

 A detailed curriculum vitae
 A one-page cover letter describing your relevant (research) experience and motivation for the position
 Names and contact details for two references

UVic is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. In pursuit of our values, we seek members who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of power. We actively encourage applications from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity. Read our full equity statement here.

Post Doctoral and Graduate Student Positions Available: Sustainable Energy Systems Integration and Transitions Group

Post doctoral and graduate student positions are available : Multi-scaled, multi-sector, and multi-vector energy systems modelling

The ongoing energy system transition, empowered by technology developments, fueled by shifting
investments, and motivated by decarbonization, is one of the 21st century’s most urgent tasks. However, current energy system models fail to deliver the holistic perspective required by decision-makers to navigate complex policy choices. Instead, energy system analyses are plagued by rigid model platforms and discretized researchers who focus on specific sectors, spatial-temporal scales, or energy vectors. This research project will pursue the development of an extensible and adaptable multi-scale, multisector, and multi-vector M3 Modelling Platform that links distinct but integrated modules to span spatial-temporal scales, the breadth of energy system services, and each energy carrier. To do so, we will employ novel computer science techniques, including multi-objective active learning, advanced visualizations, and parallelized computing. By applying machine learning and applied statistics, this research will transform our approach to energy systems modelling and accelerate decarbonization efforts.


The positions will be supervised by Dr. Madeleine McPherson, who leads the Sustainable Energy Systems Integration & Transitions Group. The successful applicant will also be affiliated with the multi-disciplinary Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) at the University of Victoria.

Please click here for more details regarding the graduate student position.

Please click here for more details regarding the post doctoral research position.

Post Doctoral and Graduate Student Positions Available: Energy Storage Valuation

Many low-carbon pathways to mitigate climate change require energy storage to bridge the gap between mismatched temporal and spatial characteristics of energy demand and supply. Emerging storage technologies, including ‘virtual storage/generation’ from demand response, also offer entirely new paradigms for operation of a low-carbon energy system. There are also potential synergies between liquid/gaseous fuels (including existing seasonal natural gas storage) and electricity energy carriers to span heating and cooling loads, direct electrical loads, and both stationary and mobile demands, providing dispatchable services from the millisecond to annual timescales and enhancing resiliency.

Multiple MASc, PhD and Post-doc positions are available in a research project led by Dr. Curran Crawford. Click here for more information.

PhD Position available: Stochastic Wind Energy System Optimization

Wind energy systems are one of the most cost effective renewable energy generation types available. They now include terrestrial, bottom- and floating-offshore variants of the 3-bladed ‘Danish concept’ machines, along with nascent airborne wind energy concepts. All wind energy systems fundamentally operate in the unsteady wind environment, which creates the loads and variable power outputs that are so challenging to design for. Optimization done for steady-state conditions is unable to fully account for or exploit these stochastic effects.


Graduate student positions are available under the direction of Dr. Crawford, the director of the Sustainable Systems Design Lab (SSDL) within the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems (IESVic) and Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Victoria.

Click here for more information.

Research Opportunities

Highly qualified students are always encouraged to apply for graduate positions. Browse our site for faculty members and research projects that reflect your interests and background.

Contact an IESVic faculty member

Contact relevant faculty members. Attach your curriculum vitae (resume) and a list of undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate grades. This can be an unofficial listing compiled by you. Official transcripts will be required later.

Prepare a UVic graduate studies application

IESVic is a research institute and not an academic department or school – membership is voluntary and reflects the participation of individual faculty members.  This means that students interested in joining the institute must apply for admission to a program in one of UVic's Departments. For more information, see the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Departmental web pages.