• Room 06.024 - Ashby Tower

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome original research masters, PhD and Research Fellowship applications from ambitious candidates with a passion for sharing knowledge, who are committed to sustainability and positive research for the betterment of society and our environment. To discuss opportunities and possibilities, please email me with your outline 1 page proposal (i.e. state aim and novelty, the research hypothesis, problem solved and a clear methodology with appropriate relevant references).


Research output per year

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Personal profile


I am a Reader in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Editor in Chief of Elsevier’s Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, a member of the Editorial Board of Elsevier’s Renewable Energy and an Editorial Panel member of the Institution of Civil Engineers Proceedings in Transport. I have a BE(Hons) (1996) in Civil Engineering and a PhD (2011) in Energy Engineering from University College Cork and an MScEng (1999) in Environmental & Transportation Engineering from Trinity College Dublin. I have a h-index of 22 (Scopus), 19 (Web of Science) and 23 (Google Scholar). I have published 38 international peer reviewed journal articles and more than 50 conference papers.

I returned to academia in 2009 after 12 years in industry. Prior to joining the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Queen’s University Belfast in 2011, I worked in the School of Engineering in University College Cork as a Lecturer and an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Fellow. While in industry I worked for ESB International, Siemens, PM Group and SWS Energy primarily in projects in the energy, waste, pharmaceutical and telecommunications.

My research income includes competitive national and international awards (e.g. EPSRC, US-Ireland SFI NSF DfE & EC H2020) and industry funding (e.g. Carbon Trading Ltd., SSE) totalling £2.3M (ownership £854k since 2010). To date I have supervised 1 PhD to completion as First Supervisor, 3 PhDs as Co-supervisor and I collaborated strongly on a further 2 PhD’s. I previously co-supervised 3 PDRAs with Prof. Kang Li (formerly EEECS now University of Leeds). My group currently consists of 2 PhD candidates as First Supervisor, 2 as lead Co-supervisor with my colleague Prof. D John Morrow in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS), and a further 2 as Co-supervisor with Dr Tim Littler also in EEECS and Dr Beatrice Smyth in my School. I currently work with 2 PDRA who report to Prof. Morrow.

Research Interests

I am interested in the global sustainable energy transition, smart cities and transport systems. Another interest is the food energy water (FEW) nexus considering extreme weather events, global warming and the environment. A theme in my research interests, greenhouse gas emissions, energy economic and energy policy regulatory aspects in developed and developing countries.

Research Statement

I have three research areas under the ‘Clean Energies’ theme in my School; wind power integration, power and gas systems and transport electrification. Specific topics includes turbine performance, life cycle analysis, wind power forecasting, unit commitment modelling, power from biogas, levelised cost of energy, demand response using intelligent ICT, energy storage, microgrids and electric vehicles, battery modelling and drive cycle analysis.

My research objective is efficiency and robustness for a sustainable energy future. As a result my work is interdisciplinary and I collaborate closely with the ‘Energy, Power and Intelligent Control (EPIC)’ research cluster in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) and the Bryden Centre for Advance Marine & Bio-energy Research in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering led by Professor David Rooney.

Finally, I have been External Examiner to 6 PhD thesis and on 1 Habilitation Commission for Docent Assoc. Prof. in Cardiff University, Dublin City University and the University of the West of Scotland and the Brno University of Technology.


I am Stage 3 Advisor of Studies (2015 to date). I am the School elected member of the School Management Board (2017 to date). I am also a panel member of the University Central Student Appeals Committee (2016 to date). Typically I supervise up to 6 undergraduate projects annually.

I have supervised over 40 undergraduate dissertations to completion. I am External Examiner for the Energy Systems Engineering degrees in NUI Galway. I Chaired Engineers Ireland Accreditation Panel for the Mechanical Engineering degrees in Dublin City University (2016). I was a Member of Engineers Ireland Accreditation Panel for the Energy Systems Engineering degrees for NUI Galway (2015).

Current module/role:

  • MEE7029 Sustainable Energy Systems – Module coordinator and primary instructor
  • MEE3064 Transportation Power and Systems 3 – Secondary instructor
  • MEE4040 Project 4 – Supervise my final year MEng individual projects
  • MEE3030 Project 3B – Supervise my final year BEng individual projects
  • MEE1011 Laboratory Programme 1 – Assess and advise my Stage 1 tutees in completing their Laboratory reports

Previous module/role:

  • MEE3057 Renewable Energy Technologies – Module coordinator and primary instructor
  • MEE3063 Sustainable Transportation Systems 3 – Module coordinator and primary instructor
  • MEE4038/MEE7013 Sustainable Transportation Systems – Module coordinator and primary instructor


MembershipsProfessional qualifications:

  • Chartered Engineer (2001)
  • Fellow, Engineers Ireland (2012)
  • Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (2009)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Authority (HEA) in the United Kingdom (2013)
  • Diploma Applied Project Management, Inst. of Project Management (2002)

Other achievements and distinctions include:

  • Editor in Chief, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (2018 to date)
  • Co-Editor in Chief, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews (2017)
  • Editor (Wind), Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews (2014 to 2016)
  • Most Cited Paper Award, Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES) Conferences and Elsevier (2017)
  • Best Paper Nomination, IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meet, Denver, Colorado, USA (2015)
  • Best Paper Award, Elsevier’s Renewable Energy, Recognition as first author on a top cited paper contributing to Renewable Energy’s 2014 Impact Factor (2014)
  • A review article ranked in Science Direct’s Top 25, Hottest Articles in 2013 to date, also a Scopus highly cited paper (>500 citations)
  • 3 original research articles awarded Scopus highly cited paper with 135 citations, 135 citations and 104 citations respectively
  • Early Career Researcher Travel Award, EU COST Action (2011)
  • Leonardo da Vinci programme Masters Scholarship, Trinity College Dublin (1996)


  • Member of the Board of Directors of Sustain NI (2017)
  • Member of Engineers Ireland Northern Region Committee (2012 to date)
  • Full College Member, Peer Review Panel, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (2017 to date)

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Research Output

Impact of offshore wind power forecast error in a carbon constraint electricity market

Higgins, P., Foley, A. M., Douglas, R. & Li, K., 01 Nov 2014, In : Energy. 76, p. 187-197

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 26 Citations (Scopus)

    The evolution of offshore wind power in the United Kingdom

    Higgins, P. & Foley, A., Sep 2014, In : Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 37, p. 599-612 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 84 Citations (Scopus)

    A long-term analysis of pumped hydro storage to firm wind power

    Foley, A. M., Leahy, P. G., Li, K., McKeogh, E. J. & Morrison, A. P., 01 Jan 2015, In : Applied Energy. 137, p. 638-648

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 63 Citations (Scopus)

    Climate change response in Europe: What's the reality? Analysis of adaptation and mitigation plans from 200 urban areas in 11 countries

    Reckien, D., Flacke, J., Dawson, R. J., Heidrich, O., Olazabal, M., Foley, A., Hamann, JJ-P., Orru, H., Salvia, M., de Gregorio Hurtado, S., Geneletti, D. & Pietrapertosa, F., Jan 2014, In : Climatic Change. 122, 1-2, p. 331-340 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 153 Citations (Scopus)

    Impacts of compressed air energy storage plant on an electricity market with a large renewable energy portfolio

    Foley, A. & Díaz Lobera, I., 01 Aug 2013, In : Energy. 57, p. 85-94 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 63 Citations (Scopus)


    Best Paper Nomination, IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meet, Denver, Colorado, USA

    Juan Yan (Recipient), Kang Li (Recipient), Erwei Bai (Recipient) & Foley, Aoife (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: Other distinction

    Early Career Researcher Travel Award, European Union COST Action

    Foley, Aoife (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Jose Maria Sarriegi Major Catastrophe Research Award Awarded by Fundación Aon España and the Catastrophe Observatory (Spain)

    Diana Riecken (Recipient), Monica Salvia (Recipient), Oliver Heidrich (Recipient), Church Jon Marco (Recipient), Filomena Pietrapertosa (Recipient), Sonia De Gregorio Hurtado (Recipient), Valentina D’Alonzo (Recipient), Foley, Aoife (Recipient), Sofia G. Simoes (Recipient), Eliška Krkoška Lorencová (Recipient), Kati Orru (Recipient), Anja Wejs (Recipient), Johann Flacke (Recipient), Marta Olazabal (Recipient), David Geneletti (Recipient), Efrén Feliu (Recipient), Sergiu Vasilie (Recipient), Cristiana Nador (Recipient), Anna Krook-Riekkola (Recipient), Marko Matosoviću (Recipient), Paris A. Fokaides (Recipient), Byron I. Ioannou (Recipient), Alexandros Flamos (Recipient), Niki-Artemis Spyridaki (Recipient), Mario V. Balzan (Recipient), Orsolya Fülöp (Recipient), Ivan Paspaldzhiev (Recipient), Stelios Grafakos (Recipient) & Richard J. Dawson (Recipient), 07 Nov 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    Invited keynote speaker, 2020 2nd International Conference on Smart Power & Internet Energy Systems (SPIES 2020), Bangkok, Thailand

    Aoife Foley (Invited speaker)

    Jun 2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited or keynote talk at national or international conference

    International Journal of Thermofluids (Journal)

    Aoife Foley (Editorial board member)

    04 Oct 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    University College Dublin (External organisation)

    Aoife Foley (Member)

    29 Aug 2019

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of board

    Université Libre de Bruxelles (External organisation)

    Aoife Foley (Reviewer)


    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation