Theme: ‘District Energy Supply within Cities’
Date: 22-29 March 2015
Venue: University of Southampton


RENKEI is the Japanese word for “collaboration” and in this context also stands for Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiatives. RENKEI is an initiative of six Japanese Universities, six UK Universities and the British Council Japan. The role of RENKEI is to offer a common platform for prestigious Japanese and UK universities to come together along with representatives of industry in order to develop collaborations and exchange knowledge in the fields of:

  • Technology and knowledge exchange with industry,
  • Student mobility, and
  • Universities’ social engagement.

Among the pilot projects are schools for postgraduates and early career researchers, and a bilateral skills development programme for PhD students.

The University of Southampton (UK) and Tohoku University (Japan) collaborated jointly in the development of two schools partially funded by the British Council UK that centre on Young Scholars Addressing Global Challenges and cover themes of energy within cities. Following a successful Summer School held at Tohoku University during 8 – 12 September 2014, in Sendai, Japan, the linked Spring School event will be held in Southampton during the period 22 – 29 March 2015. The topic for this event will consider District Energy Supply within Cities with special emphasis on low carbon options for 21st century cities.

1.Aim and Scope
2.Structure and Approach
3.Attendance and Selection Process
4.Accommodation & Travel info
5.Further Information and Contact Details
6.Final Programme Spring School
7. RENKEI Summer School 2014 in Sendai, Japan official webpage and our experiences from the first part of the programme in Japan

Aim and scope

The aim of the Spring School in Southampton (22-29 March 2015) is to bring together scholars of different cultural and sectorial backgrounds to address the theme of the School – District Energy Supply within Cities – emphasising low carbon and renewable energy generation options coupled will enhancements in city inhabitants’ wellbeing.

The scope of the School will encompass specific research tasks to be undertaken by the attendees (now known as RENKEI Scholars), exploring the differences between the traditional and environmentally conscious (low carbon) energy supply systems. The School programme will culminate in group presentations of appropriately identified solutions to support our cities’ energy needs for the 21st century and beyond.

Structure and approach

The Spring School is scheduled for 22 – 29 March 2015


Appropriate guest speakers will be invited to give presentations on specific areas related to the theme of the School. The presentations will provide background as well as appropriate questions aimed at provoking debate within the School’s workshops.

Site visits:

Appropriate site visits will be arranged for the participants including the Southampton Geothermal Plant, other district heating plants and sites for grid connected photovoltaics at building and the farm scales- see tentative programme below.

Group Work:

The participants RENKEI scholars will be divided into groups addressing appropriate topics within the School’s theme. Each group will preferably consist of participants with mixed backgrounds. Group members will collaborate to solve conceptual tasks involving technological and social challenges, developing solution strategies as well as how best to engage the public in the research projects’ outcomes. On the last day of the School, groups will present their work and will be assessed by a panel. The top three groups will be given an award.

The schedule is a mix of the above, structured to allow lectures, site visits and group work to happen within pre-defined daily activities. You can find the final programme here. The final programme is also included at the end of this website.

Attendance and Selection Process

RENKEI university partners will support fully the attendance of 2 students/researchers per member, generating 24 attendees through this route. In addition, it is anticipated that a further 6-10 students/researchers will attend from the hosting institution – University of Southampton.

Participating universities within the RENKEI programme will conduct an internal process within their own universities to select their attendees to the School according to the following:

1. The RENKEI university representatives will undertake and manage the selection process. The interested applicants will submit a one page case to the RENKEI institution representative containing the following information:

A. Name, affiliation and contact of the applicant.

B. The applicant view of the theme of the Spring School – stating some of the challenges to be considered and any approaches that are of importance to be discussed within the School programme. [Maximum 400 words]

C. The case should also convey why an applicant should be selected to attend the Spring School. [Maximum 300 words].

2. As indicated above, it is the RENKEI coordinators in the participating institutions or their representatives who will assess the applications (not the host institution). Based on the quality of the individual submissions from the applicants, the top two candidates will be selected to attend the Spring School.

3. Participating RENKEI institutions will inform the coordinator (see contact details below) of the names and contact details of their selected researchers by 2nd March 2015 at the latest.


For information about accommodation and methods of booking please follow the link.

Further Information and Contact details

For specific information please address any queries to the following:

1. Applicants interested to attend the Spring School should contact their RENKEI representative at their own institution. Please note that participating institutions are responsible for funding all costs of their researchers/students attending this event.

2. Information on the venue and programme are provided on the website of the event. Please follow the relevant links above.

3. For any other information and details contact

Mr. Leonidas (Leo) Bourikas,
T: 0044 (0) 2380 594 656

Final Programme Spring School – University of Southampton

RENKEI Spring School 22 - 29 March 2015 - Final Programme