PhD Engineering Doctorate in Seawall Performance and Reliability Faculty of Science and Technology

DoS: Dr Vanesa Magar, Coastal and Ocean Engineering Research Group (Plymouth)

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will commence April 1st 2013.

Project Description

We invite applications for an EPSRC CASE studentship award in seawall performance and reliability. The studentship has been awarded to HR Wallingford and Plymouth University.

The aim of this PhD is the development of a probabilistic understanding of the reliability of vertical seawalls, based on an examination of mechanisms that may cause seawall damage: water level variations at different timescales, wave conditions, wave impacts on the structure, the health of the beach fronting the structure (including deterioration due to scour), and structural condition. The relative importance and interdependencies between mechanisms are poorly understood. During this project a multivariate probabilistic methodology will be developed. A key output will consist of ‘fragility surfaces’, and associated uncertainties, to describe the probability of failure of coastal seawalls across a range of environmental conditions. The novel techniques developed will make a significant contribution towards coastal flooding and coastal erosion systems models. 

The successful candidate will benefit from technical supervision from experts at the School of Marine Science and Engineering from Plymouth University (, and HR Wallingford ( The student will spend periods of time in both institutions. The University will provide training in High Performance Computing on its state-of-the-art cluster. The student will be mainly supervised by Mr Jonathan Simm, Director of Flood Management Group, during time spent at HR Wallingford. While at HR Wallingford the student will have remote access to Plymouth University’s facilities so that support to his/her research remains uninterrupted. Involvement of the student in larger projects related to flood risk management will give the student a broader view of the research area. The balance between time spent at Plymouth and Wallingford will be agreed with the student on appointment. 

Also Read  Early Stage Researcher/ PhD studentship Development and differentiation of the haematogenic endothelium


We invite applications from graduates with analytical skills and knowledge of mathematics and statistics. Some understanding of coastal and marine physics, or of coastal engineering, would be desirable.

The studentship will be full-time for a period of 3 years which may be extended up to 3.5 years and will consist of bursary of £13,590 p.a, plus industrial bursary top-up of £3,700 p.a. The studentship also covers home/EU tuition fees. Fees and bursary are subject to annual review and to satisfactory progress, and for subsequent years will be at prevailing rates at the time.  The position is open to UK citizens and EU citizens with appropriate qualifications who have been resident in the UK for at least three years, due to funding restrictions.

Candidates are advised to check EPSRC eligibility requirements before submitting an application 

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Vanesa Magar:   However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below. 

To apply for this studentship please download an application form. For further details and to apply, please click the ‘Apply’ button below or, and return it with: copies of your qualifications and transcripts, two academic references, a covering letter and CV, to Ms F Niedzielski,  DTC Administrator, Faculty of Science and Technology, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA (; tel: +44 (0)1752 586079). 

It is anticipated that interviews will be held in the last week of February. 

Closing date: 12.00 noon Friday 15 February 2013.

Also Read  EngD (Int) The development of CAE methods to characterise Hybrid Reinforced LW Structures

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *