Meet Jhud Aberilla, Newton Fund grant awardee.

Research topic: Sustainable Options for Micro-Polygeneration Systems in Remote Communities

Host institution / UK university: University of Manchester

Home institution: University of the Philippines Diliman

Degree programme: PhD Environment and Sustainable Technology

Describe your PhD research in layman’s terms.

My work involves the identification of possible integrated designs to provide energy and water to remote communities in the Philippines. We use methods such as life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental, economic and social impacts of various off-grid technologies. We will also implement decision analysis tools to involve various stakeholder preferences and priorities towards finding the most sustainable solutions.

What is the relevance of your study to the economic development, welfare and poverty issues in the Philippines?

As of 2016, there were still 11 million Filipinos without access to electricity. Around 14 million households were still dependent on traditional biomass and kerosene for their cooking. Basic water services are not available to 2.5 million households. Through this study, we hope to provide sustainable solutions to address these interconnected basic needs and help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. By taking a multi-perspective approach to system evaluation, we plan to gain insights that will be useful to policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders in rural development.

How do you envision your UK education can contribute to your future career as a researcher?

As of 2016, there were still 11 million Filipinos without access to electricity. Around 14 million households were still dependent on traditional biomass and kerosene for their cooking. Basic water services are not available to 2.5 million households. Through this study, we hope to provide sustainable solutions to address these interconnected basic needs and help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. By taking a multi-perspective approach to system evaluation, we plan to gain insights that will be useful to policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders in rural development.

How has the commitment of the UK in science and technology influence your decision in choosing the Newton Fund?

The UK has been a beacon of excellent research in many fields, including science and technology. The large international student population also provides many opportunities for collaboration and innovation. The commitment of the UK to bringing quality higher education to Filipinos even begins with a bespoke service to help potential applicants find supervisors in their field of interest. These factors have greatly increased my motivation to apply to the Newton Fund.