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Behaviour and design of thin-walled metallic shell systems

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Wind energy is currently representing the fastest growth area of all renewables, particularly in the UK. The height of the wind turbine towers is continuously increasing to cope with the growing energy demands and engineers need to understand the possible failure mechanisms in these slender structures. Being the mostly employed form of wind-turbine support towers, metallic cylindrical shells in current design practice receive surprisingly simplistic treatment, varying between excessive conservatism and potentially serious unconservatism. This is mainly due to the widespread lack of understanding of the nonlinear phenomena that govern their behaviour.

In this project, the applicant is expected to carry out a numerical study of wind-turbine support towers with a various range of geometries and realistic imperfection forms, in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the buckling behaviour of such structures. Experimental study employing scaled models is going to be conducted at the late stage of the project. The obtained numerical and experimental results will be used to develop codified design rules on the basis of the newly proposed ‘Reference Resistance Design’ framework, contributing towards the on-going improvement of the worldwide state-of-the-art European design rules for metal shells – EN 1993-1-6.

The research programme will address a significant gap in current fundamental knowledge in nonlinear structural mechanics and the outcomes will be transferrable to other disciplines including aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Successful applicants will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent). Any English language requirements must be met at the deadline for applications.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Jie Wang ()

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture & Civil Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of November 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019 and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Bath in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.38

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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