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Engineering: Fully Funded M2A MSc by Research Scholarship: Adapting Engineering for the Hydrogen Economy

Closing date: 19 July 2020

Key Information

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Start date: October 2020

Supervisors: Dr Charles Dunnill (academic) and Andrew Williams (industrial)

Sponsoring company: UnitBirwelco
UnitBirwelco supplies sophisticated engineered products into a broad range of markets including oil and gas, petrochemical, energy and marine. These markets provide an exciting range of engineering challenges for environments that include high pressure, aggressive mediums and expectations for high integrity.


As the world moves towards decarburisation one of the key solutions is the hydrogen economy with applications in heating, energy and mobility. However, the hydrogen economy brings new challenges in how it can be generated, stored and utilised.

This project will focus on how UnitBirwelco can adapt its engineering processes to develop hydrogen solutions and position the business ready for the hydrogen economy. Consideration will be given to the materials selection, manufacturing processes and engineering design challenges.

Project Aims:

The Project will work closely with the supporting company in Swansea, based in Elba crescent, but considering all relevant business activities across the three sites Birmingham, Hull and Swansea.  The process will involve a basic assessment, listing, of business activities and an exploration of where Hydrogen could either fit into the business activities or where a particular activity could be adapted to move the business towards a hydrogen focus. While having a business view, this is an engineering project and not a business studies project. The final thesis will be used to create a high-level report to the board of directors to help them decide on the best scenario for the company to exploit the fast developing hydrogen economy and the potentials within the existing company, building on the skills and expertise already present.

This project requires someone who is able to appropriately respect confidential information as there is potential for handling company sensitive data.

Predicted Outcomes:

  • Standard MSc thesis that will be utilised by the company.
  • Meetings and inspiration along the way.
  • Published paper with permission, sanitised of sensitive information, maybe on a case study if appropriate.
  • Future collaboration. This is the beginning of what will hopefully be a long and mutually fruitful relationship.

Before submitting an application for the project, please see our Hints & Tips document which can be found here.


We welcome applications from candidates with an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree (minimum level 2:1), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g. IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit –

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

Full eligibility criteria can be found at:

Note: Energy engineering covers a wide variety of engineering disciplines so any would be welcome to apply. We would be looking for an innovative and outgoing individual who works well as a team. No one would be able to do this project alone and the candidate will have to be able to ask for all the help that is needed. This involves communicating with various people at the company, as well as with the Dunnill research group for the hydrogen expertise.


The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend of £14,500 p.a. for a year.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship, please complete the online application form.

Informal enquiries about this scholarship are welcome and may be directed by email to: