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  Dynamic modelling of submarine landslides and induced tsunami propagation

   School of Engineering

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  Dr Xue Zhang, Prof John Bridgeman, Dr Yan Zhou  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Submarine landslides are geological phenomena that pose a direct threat to offshore infrastructure and an indirect threat to coastal communities through the generation of tsunamis. Over the past decade, submarine landslides have received increasing attention, largely due to the boom in offshore infrastructure such as submarine gas and oil pipelines, offshore wind farms, and offshore electricity grid infrastructure. The timely forecast of potential submarine landslides, along with a realistic estimation of their post-failure behaviour and consequences, is crucial for minimising the destruction to surrounding infrastructure.

The aim of this project is to develop robust numerical models and high-performance solution algorithms for simulating the evolution of submarine landslides. The doctoral candidate will:

(1) Develop suitable models accounting for the coupled interaction between sliding geomaterials and water in submarine landslides.

(2) Develop an open-source PFEM software package with intense computing parallelisation for modelling submarine landslides and induced tsunamis.

(3) Quantitatively validate the model and tool through physical modelling tests.

(4) Investigate the sliding mechanism of submarine porous mass and its role in generating hazardous waves.

The ideal candidate should have:

(1) A background in civil engineering, mechanical engineering, computational physics, applied mathematics, or related areas.

(2) Experience with numerical methods for solving partial differential equations.

(3) Proficiency in programming languages such as C/C++, Python, Matlab, or equivalent.

(4) An appropriate qualification in the English language (e.g., an IELTS average score of 6.5 with no score less than 6.0), along with excellent communication and organisational skills.

We want all of our staff and Students to feel that Liverpool is an inclusive and welcoming environment that actively celebrates and encourages diversity. We are committed to working with students to make all reasonable project adaptations including supporting those with caring responsibilities, disabilities or other personal circumstances. For example, If you have a disability you may be entitled to a Disabled Students Allowance on top of your studentship to help cover the costs of any additional support that a person studying for a doctorate might need as a result.

We believe everyone deserves an excellent education and encourage students from all backgrounds and personal circumstances to apply.

Applicant Eligibility

Candidates will have, or be due to obtain, a Master’s Degree or equivalent from a reputable University in an appropriate field of Engineering. Exceptional candidates with a First Class Bachelor’s Degree in an appropriate field will also be considered.

Application Process

Candidates wishing to apply should complete the University of Liverpool application form [How to apply for a PhD - University of Liverpool] applying for a PhD in Civil Engineering and uploading: Degree Certificates & Transcripts, an up-to-date CV, a covering letter/personal statement and two academic references.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This UKRI-funded studentship will cover tuition fees for both home and overseas students and provide a maintenance grant of £39,855.60 per year (before tax) for three years. Additionally, the studentship includes a research training support grant to cover the cost of materials, conference attendance, and other related expenses. The PhD candidate will also receive funding to attend the annual workshop held by the MSCA Doctoral Network POSEIDON and have the opportunity for secondments at partner institutions associated with POSEIDON, such as the University of Twente and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (

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