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An experimental investigation of self-healing cementitious composites with active inclusions

Project Description

Structures formed from cement-based materials have frequently suffered from poor durability, with the result that a great deal of money is spent each year on repairing existing structures. One of the most-promising long-term solutions to this problem lies in the use of new materials that have the ability to heal themselves. Very recently, the supervisors have developed some ideas for a particularly novel form of inclusion that would facilitate healing behaviour and produce a highly durable new composite material for construction. The proposed PhD would investigate this new idea by undertaking detailed experiments and characterisation studies to determine the efficacy of the new composite material. The work will involve understanding the underlying scientific processes that govern material behaviour and then using this understanding to direct the material development associated experimental and modelling studies. This approach is both rigorous and necessary for a scientifically excellent programme of research.

In addition, with help from other members of the Cardiff team, the project would involve simulating the behaviour of this new material with recently developed state-of-the-art numerical models. Detailed experimental techniques (e.g. Digital Image Correlation, Micro-CT imaging, XRD) will also be used to characterise and better understand the material’s behaviour. The aim of the PhD would be to optimise the form of the inclusions with respect to healing behaviour and to develop a design method for its use in practice. The two supervisors have an enthusiasm for engineering research that they would hope to pass onto the student during this exciting 3.5 year programme of work.
Given the research management experience of the supervisory team and the wider expertise available from the M4L group, the applicants are confident that the proposed PhD programme of research can be successful completed within 3.5 years


You should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK.

Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have a master’s degree. Applicants with a minimum Upper Second Class degree and significant relevant non-academic experience are encouraged to apply.

Funding Notes

Full awards, including the Tuition fee and maintenance stipend (Approx. £14,777 in 2018/19), are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education.


Applications should be made online at:

Please note the following when completing your online application:

The Programme name is Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with an October 2019 start date.

In the "Research proposal and Funding" section of your application, please specify the project title, supervisors of the project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Please select “No, I am not self-funding my research” when asked whether you are self-funding your research.

Please quote “project ID” when asked "Please provide the name of the funding you are applying for".

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