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Developing Embedded Biomimetic and Cognitive Capabilities in Self-Healing or Self-Sensing Concrete

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Paine
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We are seeking a PhD student to undertake research into the development of ‘smart’ cement-based materials to complement an EPSRC programme grant in resilient materials. The work will develop concrete with autonomic self-healing or self-sensing capabilities. We anticipate that these developments will transform our infrastructure materials, enhance durability and serviceability, and reduce maintenance costs.

Two broad topics are available:

Self-healing concrete: The form of self-healing concrete to be studied involves the use of bacteria that can microbiologically-precipitate calcite in cracks. Results of previous research at the University of Bath have shown that bacteria-based self-healing of mortar is sufficiently effective to return the permeability properties of cracked mortar back to that of uncracked mortar. In this research we intend to develop bacteria-based self-healing concrete for use in aggressive environments such as marine conditions. There is no requirement for the student to have any previous experience in microbiology.

Self-sensing concrete: The ambition in this proposal is to develop concrete with embedded biomimetic and cognitive capabilities such that it can self-sense and self-diagnose mechanical damage without the need for any human input. Techniques that we can include the use of sensors such as electric resistance strain gauges, optic fibres, piezoelectric materials or graphene sensors embedded within the concrete. The intention is that the self-sensing capability will be partnered with a self-healing technology to generate a truly biomimetic material.

Both of these topics are deliberately broad in outline as the funding mechanism allows us to tailor the specific aims and objectives of the research to the strengths and interests of the student. When applying please let us know which topic is of most interest.

Candidate –

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or high Upper Second Class UK Honours degree (or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK) in a relevant subject. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.

Applications –

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Kevin Paine, [Email Address Removed]

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form:

Please ensure that your quote the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

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

This studentship should start on 1 April 2019, or as soon as possible.

Funding Notes

A Home/EU award will provide full tuition fees, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000, and a tax-free maintenance payment of £14,777 (2018-19 rate) for up to 3 years.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent).

English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

We also welcome applications from self or externally funded students all year round.

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)

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