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Blast attenuation in cohesive soils.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 01, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded 4-year PhD studentship in the Blast and Impact Dynamics Research Group in the Department of Civil & Structural Engineering at the University of Sheffield. This PhD studentship is funded through an EPSRC CASE studentship in collaboration with Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and is a fantastic opportunity to join a world-leading research group and gain first-hand experience of experimental measurement of the dynamic behaviour of soils at the University of Sheffield Blast and Impact Laboratory.

Project description
With most recent conflicts being based in predominantly arid regions, there exists a large body of information on the characterisation of coarse soils such as sands. These data have been used extensively by designers to develop armour systems to protect against threats such as improvised explosive devices and landmines, buried in sands. This leaves a critical gap in our ability to assess the protective capabilities of existing systems against blast and ballistic threats where cohesive soils such as clays are present. This project aims to undertake a detailed characterisation of cohesive materials to allow protective system designers to evaluate the effectiveness of their current solutions. Due to the added difficulty of preparing cohesive (clay) samples, little work has been done to characterise the behaviour of these materials, across a range of strain rates. The project will provide data for the validation of numerical models to be able to predict the dynamic response of cohesive soils.

The candidate
Suitable for candidates holding or anticipating an award of Distinction at MSc level, or 2.1 at undergraduate degree in an engineering or numerical/physical sciences discipline. Some experience in blast/dynamic analysis is preferred, as is experience in the design and running of experimental trials but training for both of these aspects will be provided as part of the support and training.

Because of the sensitive nature of the research, this PhD is open to UK / EU candidates only.

The successful candidate must start by October 2020.

Next steps
Please email a CV and covering letter to Dr Sam Clarke at with the subject “Expression of interest for Dstl PhD studentship”. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to apply through the university’s online application portal.

Funding Notes

Additional project funding available for international travel during the PhD.

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.80

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

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