PhD Opportunity: Sustainable construction materials and practices



PhD Supervisor: Dr Sarah Christian

Application Deadline: Open until position filled

Funding Availability: Open to UK/EU/Overseas applicants. Studentships will cover University fees (at UK/EU or overseas rate), plus a stipend for 3.5 years at the enhanced EPSRC rate (£14,640 for 2013/14). 

Research Area: Infrastructure and the Environment 

Project description:

Engineers and architects are striving to design new and retrofit existing infrastructure that are more sustainable.  The objective of this project is to develop and evaluate sustainable materials, specifically biocomposites, for use in construction and to evaluate the impact of design and construction practices on the sustainability of infrastructure. 

Biocomposites are materials composed of natural fibres and biopolymers with properties appropriate for use in infrastructure.  The research student will experimentally evaluate and computationally model a variety of biocomposites comprised of different materials and processed by a variety of fabrication methods to optimize mechanical behaviour and durability.  The student will conduct mechanical testing in the laboratory and evaluate durability based upon in-situ and accelerated conditioning. 

The student will work to improve accelerated conditioning methods to more effectively model the effects of real-world environments using experimental testing results, degradation simulations, and real-time weather conditioning for a large group of materials. 

Finally, the student will evaluate how design and construction practices can be modified to improve the sustainability of infrastructure using life cycle analysis and develop design tools to allow engineers to effectively implement recommended changes. 

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Eligibility and qualifications:

Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit: a first class or upper second class honours undergraduate degree (or International equivalent) is the minimum qualification requirement. Candidates for this position should have degree in a suitable subject (e.g., civil or structural engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science). Experience with research into materials, experimental testing and/or computational modelling is desirable but not essential as training in these areas is part of the studentship. Excellent organisational and communication skills are required. 

Please apply through the Apply link below

Select the Research Area referred to in the advert and clearly state on your application form which project you are applying for and the relevant supervisor.

Informal Enquiries to: [email protected]

Further information: www.eng.ed.ac.uk/drupal/IIE/home

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