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  Design Standardization of 3D Concrete Printing for Unreinforced Low-Rise Buildings

   School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society

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  Dr M Batikha  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Today, one of the construction industry's biggest challenges is the growing demand for affordable houses and functional cities during the pandemic and other disasters. The research on UnReinforced 3D Concrete Printing (UR3DCP) has shown its high potential for cheaper, faster, safer, and more sustainable construction solutions for low-rise buildings. Utilizing steel reinforcement embedded in the printed elements, as the case in the current market, may ruin this fact. However, the building authorities don't permit the UR3DCP because of the safety uncertainty due to the absence of a design standard. Therefore, this research aims to support producing a standard for designing low-rise buildings using UR3DCP, similar to the design standards available for UnReinforced Masonry (URM).

Two procedures will be applied in this research. First of all, data regarding the strength of printed concrete samples via previous research works will be collected and processed for producing design formulas. An experimental program will also be conducted at Heriot-Watt University labs since tests on printed concrete samples are still limited worldwide. Secondly, the finite element modelling approach will be performed to support the findings of the first procedure. Moreover, the finite element procedure will consider the safety of the connections between the printed element parts and other non-printed parts of the building.

The outputs of this research are essential to encourage the governments and the construction industry toward more confidence about 3DCP as an economical and sustainable construction technique.


To be eligible, applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent experience). Additional criteria may apply so please check the specific project details before applying. Scholarships will be awarded by competitive merit, taking into account the academic ability of the applicant.

We recognise that not every talented researcher will have had the same opportunities to advance their careers. We therefore will account for any particular circumstances that applicants disclose (e.g. parental leave, caring duties, part-time jobs to support studies, disabilities etc.) to ensure an inclusive and fair recruitment process.  

How to Apply

Please complete our online application form. Please select PhD programme Civil Engineering and include the project reference, title and supervisor names on your application. If these details are not included your application may not be considered. Please note that applicants may only submit ONE proposal.

Please provide a supporting statement outlining how you would approach the research and upload this to the research proposal section of the online application. You will be required to upload a CV, a copy of your degree certificate(s) and relevant transcript(s). You may also upload an academic reference to further support your application.

You must provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0 or a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 90 points.


The closing date for applications is Monday 31 January 2022. Applications will be reviewed throughout March and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by the end of April 2022. Applicants MUST be available to start the course of study on a full-time basis in September/October 2022.

Please refer to the website for further information.

Architecture, Building & Planning (3) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

The scholarship will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend of approximately £15,609 for the 36 month duration of the project and is available to applicants from the UK, EU and overseas.
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