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Cladding System Design - A Holistic Cladding Design and Evaluation Framework Towards Rigorous Fire Protection Standards

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Brigham
    Dr O Vogt
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Location: Durham University, UK & PSP Architectural Ltd, Shildon

Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 per annum (based on 2018/2019 stipend)
Hours: Full Time

Duration: 3.0 years (from October 2018)

Supervisors: Dr John Brigham and Dr Oliver Vogt

Durham University is seeking applications for a PhD studentship as part of our ERDF funded industrial projects with local SMEs. The successful applicant will work about 50% of the time at the industrial partner PSP Architectural as part of their design team and the other half will be dedicated to research at the Durham University Department of Engineering.

Project description:

Following the recent tragic events, there is a great deal of doubt about the direction of the building cladding industry in terms of materials, standards, regulations, etc., particularly in terms of fire protection/performance. However, what is certain is that there will be radical changes to all of these aspects of cladding engineering. The main challenge facing this development is the complexity of the cladding industry, which involves many influencing factors and contributors. This project will span from evaluation of the current state of practice through to development of a modelling framework to quantitatively evaluate the fire performance of cladding systems, and finally, the recommendation of a new set of design and installation standards for a suite of structural cladding products.

Assessment criteria:

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:
• First class honours (or high 2.1 or equivalent) degree in engineering, physics, or mathematical sciences.
• Strong understanding of engineering applications and problem solving.
• Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.

The following criteria are desirable but not essential:
• Experience with CAD software (e.g., Solidworks, Autocad, or equivalent).
• Experience with Matlab (or similar software tools).
• Knowledge on finite-element analysis (or other boundary-value solvers).
• Experience with scientific programming and implementation of numerical methods in computer code.
• Working knowledge of the cladding industry and associated fire regulations.
• Valid UK Driving License (or transfer within a 1-year period).

Funding and application process:

The UK/EU studentships are fully funded for 3 years with a tax-free stipend at the EPSRC rate (£14,777 for 2018/19). This studentship is partially funded by European Regional Development Funding, Durham University and Industry.

Interested candidates are encouraged to make an informal enquiry to the named academic supervisor(s). To apply formally for this studentship, applicants should use the online system found at

Decisions will be made on applicants as they are received.

The Department holds an Athena Swan Bronze award, highlighting its commitment to promoting women in Science, Engineering and Technology.

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