Research course

The effect of modularisation on energy infrastructures

University of Leeds · School of Civil Engineering

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1), or equivalent, in mathematics, physics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering. If English is not the applicant’s first language, they must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

Months of entry


Course content

· Modularisation is traditionally intended as the decomposition of a large facility in modules build offsite. The new paradigm is using modularisation to foster the deployment of small, identical and mostly factory build facilities. This impacts on project risks and economics.

· The PhD has two goals: firstly to investigate the effect of modularisation in planning, designing, building and operating small power plants. Secondly to understand how the factories manufacturing the modules can be established despite the huge and risky upfront investment.

· “Small Modular Reactors” (SMR) are the reference technology, as SMR are receiving a growing interest in the UK and abroad.

· This is a transdisciplinary research linking together the civil engineering school, the Energy@Leeeds group and the business school.

· The main constrains in deploying nuclear reactors in the UK are the huge upfront cost & investment risks. Through modularisation SMRs could reduce these barriers and become the standard option for the UK.

· Modularisation is a relevant topic in several sectors. The PhD candidate will gain valuable know-how for his/her future.

· Dr Locatelli has a strong collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that is very keen to support this area of research.

The only equipment necessary is a standard computer.

Keywords: Modularisation, Project Management, Risk Management, Power Plants, Project Delivery Chain

Fees and funding

This scholarship is part of Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship scheme.

This scholarship is fully funded covering fees and a maintenance of £14,254 in 2016/17

Qualification and course duration


full time
48 months

Course contact details

Dr Giorgio Locatelli