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Assessment of the Potential for Sedimentation in Infrastructure Drainage using Novel coupled CFD-DEM Analysis


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Dr Duncan Borman and Dr Fleur Loveridge
School of Civil Engineering, School of Earth and Environment
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Fluid Dynamics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

There are over 16,000km of railway lines and over 50,000km of major roads in Great Britain. To prevent flooding, maintain performance of railway track and road foundations, and to reduce the risks of slope instability in associated embankments and cuttings there will be thousands of kilometres of associated drainage infrastructure. The simplest drains may just be open ditches, but commonly trench drains are present (e.g. rail track drainage, filter drains, slope drains). These types of drain comprise coarse granular material of high permeability, and may also include a geotextile wrap and a slotted pipe at the base to aid water removal. Unlike most infrastructure which is required to have a design life of 60 or 120 years, drainage is likely to have a design life of less than 10 years, perhaps even only a few months. The primary method of degradation of drain performance is the accumulation of sediment, which can at first reduce permeability and hence flow rate for water removal, ultimately leading to total blockage with inherent risks of flooding or slope failure. Carefully controlling the grain sizes of the granular material, appropriate design of geotextiles, and sufficient fall on the network can help, but maintenance is still frequently required to retain serviceability. <br /> Despite drainage being a very old technology, there is still little information or guidance about the rate at which deterioration due to sedimentation occurs. Better understanding this, to more appropriately and proactively plan maintenance, and help design for reduced rates of deterioration, would have a large impact on infrastructure asset management. This project will work with the Leeds Institute of Fluid Dynamics and will use novel coupled CFD-DEM (discrete element modelling) to simulate the movement of fine sediment particles within granular trench drains under different design scenarios (drainage materials, rainfall events, geotextile provision). The project aims to provide a better understanding of the factors effecting the rate of sedimentation that can be used to plan, design and maintain drainage solutions. <br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>


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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are apply for <em><strong>PHD Civil Engineering FT </strong></em>and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Assessment of the Potential for Sedimentation in Infrastructure Drainage using Novel coupled CFD-DEM Analysis</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Duncan Borman</a> and <a href="">Dr Fleur Loveridge</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisors.</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. &nbsp;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:</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> <li>Funding information including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p>

<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="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> &ndash;The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="">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>&nbsp;</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="">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:&nbsp; e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further informationabout this project, please contact Dr Fleur Loveridge by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>