Applications for this PhD have now closed.
Location University of Queensland, Faculty of Engineering Architecture and Information Technology

Identifying and resolving bottlenecks to the rate of global greenhouse gas abatement

PhD positions available in the Rapid Switch Initiative

Opportunities exist for high calibre PhD students to contribute to a set of exciting new projects seeking to identify, anticipate and resolve bottlenecks to change, in technological, industrial, social and economic systems, so as to accelerate the world’s decarbonisation efforts.

Students would be part of an inter-disciplinary, international collaboration, led by The University of Queensland and Princeton University (USA), with other partners in India, China and Europe.

The Rapid Switch team brings together skills in techno-economic evaluation, resource economics, qualitative and quantitative analysis in social and behavioural sciences, and systems modelling using a variety of methods (including equilibrium economics; least cost optimisation; system dynamics; Bayesian networks).

The position
UQ invites applications from PhD candidates to work on key research within the Rapid Switch challenge. This is a cross-faculty initiative led by the UQ Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, and individual student projects can be aligned with the most appropriate UQ School or Institute. Opportunities may exist to collaborate with our industry and international research partners.

We are seeking proposals for innovative new investigations into decarbonisation bottlenecks. These may address, but are not limited to, our current priority questions that include:

  1. Minimising socio-economic disruption caused by the early retirement of legacy fossil fuel assets.
  2. The role of electrification for clean-cooking transitions in developing regions.
  3. Development trajectories for emerging economies such as India, Southeast Asia and Africa, and their influence on energy demand growth.
  4. Unique challenges for deep decarbonisation of CO2-intensive heavy industries such as cement, steel and fertiliser production.
  5. The potential for human health and/or local environmental pressures to boost or constrain greenhouse gas mitigation in developing countries.
  6. The role of policy, trade, finance and capital flows in stimulating or constraining the rollout of decarbonisation technologies.
  7. Modelling methodologies that are better able to identify and reflect bottlenecks in the rate of socio-economic and technical system change.

Applicants with formal qualifications and expertise in the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Engineering
  • Energy Systems Analysis
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Political Science
  • Social & Behavioural Sciences

To discuss this role please contact Dr Joe Lane, on +61 7 3346 7725 or

For more information click here.

Please Note: Should this listing mention details of an available scholarship, it is your responsibility to confirm the specifics with the university / institute prior to applyiing. Terms and conditions are in some cases subject to change and are not always reflected immediately within listings.

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Further Information / Application Enquiries

Dr Joe Lane
+61 7 3346 6462