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Discovering and assessing buried infrastructure elements with advanced sensing technology

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, April 29, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The performance of buried structures such as tunnels, retaining walls relies on their material and structural integrity and their ability to resist external forces. They can be damaged by impacts, traffic and other structural loads, ground movements, scour, seismic activity and corrosion. Therefore, it is critical to have a good understanding of their condition through regular inspection. However, at present, it is extremely challenging to acquire meaningful condition data for the buried aging infrastructure elements due to lack of the basic design information and practical investigation method. This research aims to develop a method and related technologies to rapidly construct the Building Information Model (BIM) of the aging infrastructure elements and assess their condition through the use of data fusion concept with reality capture technologies and underground sensing technologies. The key objectives of the research are:
• Review the existing buried structure condition assessment requirement and related method
• Review the existing underground sensing technologies to detect and assess buried structure
• Develop a rapid 3D BIM reconstruction method with reality capture technologies (laser scanning and photogrammetry)
• Develop a data fusion technology to integrate data from reality capture technology and underground sensing technology for BIM reconstruction and condition assessment
• Establish a practical method and workflow for buried structure condition assessment

Candidate requirements

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area.
Applicants will, normally, have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship. See for details.

Application details

• Complete the Studentship Application Form, save the file in format ProjectReferenceSurname.doc, where ProjectReference = EPSRC_Hud_Icase, Surname = your family name.
• Provide a current detailed CV, identifying any research employment or experience and, where applicable, details of research conference presentations or publications.
• Provide copies of transcripts and certificates of all relevant academic and/or any professional qualifications.
• Provide references from two individuals, at least one of whom should be able to comment on your suitability for postgraduate research. Referees named on this application who are submitting references separately should send them to and include the Project Reference in the subject of their email.
Completed applications, including all relevant documents should be submitted via-email to and should include the Project Reference in the subject of the email. Please note: if you do not attach all the relevant documentation prior to the closing date of 12 April 2019 your application will not be considered.

Funding Notes

4 years full time research covering tuition fees and a stipend of funding up to four years at £15,009 per annum for 2019-2020 and increasing in line with EPSRC guidelines for subsequent years
Additional funding up to £28,600 is available to cover research cost.
Funded via the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Industrial Case Account and Network Rail

Applications are invited for a fully funded EPSRC Industrial Case PhD studentship in the area of reality capture of infrastructure assets at the University of Huddersfield supported by Network Rail. Applicants should be of outstanding quality and exceptionally motivated. The studentships are renewable for up to 4 years, subject to satisfactory annual performance and progression review, and will provide for tuition fees, a tax-free stipend and research cost.

Please note that this is a competitive application process which including interviews. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview in person or via Skype. The most outstanding applicants will be offered the studentship.
The application form and all details are available at

Queries about the application process are welcome and should be directed by email to Julie Tierney . Informal enquiries about individual projects should be directed to the lead supervisor, Professor Song Wu ().

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