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Impact of climate change in geostrutures with particular reference to transport infrastructure

PGR-P-761

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Friday 29 May 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Funding
Competition funded
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Supervisors
Professor Barry Clarke and Dr Ana Heitor
Schools
School of Civil Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Current performance shortcomings in the transport infrastructure formations induced by extreme climatic events cause excessive maintenance requirements with increased costs and disruptions to commuters and loss of productivity in the freight services. This PhD project aims to explore the impact of climate change in compacted geomaterials incorporated in the transport infrastructure substructure formations. While the infrastructure developed in the last 60 years has been built following the principles of compaction, much of the UK transport infrastructure was built before those principles were understood and practiced and thus particularly vulnerable to increasingly severe changes in hydraulic stresses caused by climate as well as degradation of its properties due to increasingly higher traffic demand, e.g. increase in dynamic stresses as a function of speed and axle loads. The project will focus on the study of the role of the seasonal variation in hydraulic stresses (i.e. matric suction) that compacted geomaterials undergo during their service life, in particular the performance shortfalls for different compacted states including old infrastructure under-compacted conditions. It will also aims to study the impact of extreme climatic events (e.g. flash flooding accompanied by periods of intense rainfall and extended period of droughts) and the role of vegetation in curbing those impacts. It will involve advanced laboratory testing and modelling focussing on the water retention behaviour of compacted materials and monotonic and dynamic stress-strain behaviour simulating typical transport infrastructure conditions.

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.leeds.ac.uk/rsa/prospective_students/apply/I_want_to_apply.html">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <strong>Impact of climate change in geostrutures with particular reference to transport infrastructure</strong> as well as <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/civil-engineering/staff/6674/dr-ana-heitor">Dr Ana Heitor</a> as your proposed supervisor.</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><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></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>Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences Research Council Studentship&nbsp;for 3.5 years. A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (&pound;4,600 in Session 2020/21), together with a maintenance grant (&pound;15,285&nbsp;in Session 2020/21) paid at standard Research Council rates. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. Applicants successful in obtaining a&nbsp;DTP&nbsp;Civil Engineering studentship for &nbsp;will automatically be considered for the supplementary Civil Engineering Alumni Bursary (value &pound;3000 p.a. for 3.5 years). &nbsp;European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.&nbsp;&nbsp;Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.</p>

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

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions:<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Ana Heitor by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:A.Heitor@leeds.ac.uk">A.Heitor@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


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