Fully Funded PhD Research Studentship (3 years) Modelling Thermo-elasto-viscoplastic Behaviour of Structured Clays

Faculty of Engineering

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship to join the Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics (NCG) at the University of Nottingham, a global top 75 University. The student will work in a dynamic research environment and as part of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and will undertake research related to advanced constitutive modelling and numerical simulation of geo-materials

The mechanical response of structured soft soils is greatly influenced from loading rates as well as temperature variations. Natural clays also exhibit inelastic, anisotropic, hardening/softening and time-dependant behaviour that further complicate matters. The focus of this project is to develop a simple and practical thermo-elasto-viscoplastic constitutive model that can capture well both time- and temperature-dependant characteristics of structured clays under both monotonic and cyclic loading conditions. The developed model will be validated against experimental data; it will provide a suitable solution to appropriately model soil behaviour in a variety of geotechnical engineering applications e.g. thermal-mechanical interactions in clay barriers around nuclear waste disposal facilities, clay response surrounding geothermal power plants etc. There will be opportunities to do additional experimental work, for model validation, at the state of the art NCG laboratory, and to present the research outputs locally and at international conferences.

Requirements of the studentship:

i)        Students should have a first-class or very good 2:1 honours degree in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics or a closely related discipline that includes courses in continuum mechanics and/or computational methods. An MSc degree with distinction, or equivalents, in geotechnics or mechanics is highly desirable.

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ii)       Students should be able to demonstrate a strong interest in finite element programming and complementary knowledge of computing languages such as Fortran or C++; they should have good written and oral presentation skills as well as strong analytical and practical skills.

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU students, due to funding restrictions and a tax free stipend for three years (£13,590 for the 2013-14 academic year). The studentship is expected to start in October 2013, or as early as possible after this date.

We ask that you contact Dr Mohammad Rezania directly, email: mohammad.rezania@nottingham.ac.uk with a covering letter stating clearly how your interests and experience relate to the project, and include a CV and the names and addresses of two academic referees. Please quote ref no: ENG/726

This studentship will remain open until filled.

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