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The need for speed: the behaviour of trains at very high speed

PGR-P-1277

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Non-funded
Supervisors
Professor David Connolly
Schools
School of Civil Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

An explosion in high speed rail investment has resulted in increased train speeds, with the world speed record currently standing at 603 km/h. These advances have moved train velocities into the same realm as those encountered by commercial aircraft. Despite these advances in vehicle technology, railway track technologies have not advances as quickly, and can experience problems at these new speeds.<br /> <br /> One important challenge is that when high speed trains approach the natural wave velocity of the track-ground support, large vibrations are generated. These vibrations are analogous to the, &lsquo;sonic boom&rsquo; caused by super-sonic jets passing through the sound barrier, and risk the train derailing due to excessive shaking. This sonic boom is known as the &lsquo;critical velocity&rsquo; effect.<br /> <br /> To investigate critical velocity, this project will develop a combined train, track and ground computer model. The model will be used to study the onset of these large vibrations and develop techniques to prevent them. Due to the novelty of the research and model development, there is the opportunity to write multiple world-leading, international journal papers on the subject. Considering the international nature of the research, candidates will be expected to attend international conferences if required.<br />

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for is&nbsp;<em><strong>PhD Civil Engineering FT,</strong></em>&nbsp;in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>The need for speed: the behaviour of trains at very high speed</strong></em> as well as <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/civil-engineering/staff/1204/dr-david-p-connolly">Professor David Connolly</a> as your proposed supervisor&nbsp;and in the finance section, please state clearly&nbsp;<em><strong>the funding that you are applying for, if you are self-funding or externally sponsored</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application or by the closing date of 8 April 2024 if applying for Leeds Doctoral Scholarship/Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/209-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2022">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/234-leeds-opportunity-research-scholarship-2022">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants (open from October 2023). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> &ndash;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (now closed for 2024/25 entry). The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:&nbsp;</strong> Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are<strong> not</strong> covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Professor David Connolly<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:D.Connolly@leeds.ac.uk">D.Connolly@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>