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Earthquake Response and Environmental Resilience of Rail Infrastructure

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Sakdirat Kaewunruen
    Dr M Papaelias
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The University of Birmingham, as part of a multi-university multi-disciplinary rail research team, has recently been The University of Birmingham is host to the world-leading Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, a multi-disciplinary group of staff from the Schools of Civil Engineering, Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials & Metallurgy. The Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education brings together a multidisciplinary team from across the University to tackle fundamental railway engineering problems.

Aging railway infrastructure around the world is at risk of earthquake and environmental extreme events. This is recently evidenced by many natural hazards such as earthquake, extreme heat, snow storm and flash flood. On this ground, predictive structural models of rail infrastructure capable of damage evaluation and stochastic simulation are necessary to assure public safety and operational reliability. Some of common damages of rail assets subjected to such extreme events include damaged components, track buckling, shear crack of tunneling, and so on. These could potentially lead to progressive failure of structural rail systems such as railway bridges and tunnels, turnouts and crossings, and even open tracks. Therefore, there is a necessity to develop a new non-destructive monitoring technique coupled with numerical assessments, which enrich rail industry capability to virtually investigate structural responses to risk-based extreme events and to improve appropriate resilience of rail infrastructure.

This research will aim at developing structural health monitoring methodology related to emerging risks, and then predicting stochastic and structural responses to Earthquake and environmental events. It will develop new reliable monitoring technique using advanced sensing method, and providing strategic guidance for resilience evaluation and improvement associated with current risk-based inspection practice.

We are looking for people to conduct research alongside the research fellows, and academics to develop an enhanced reliable monitoring system and predictive structural modeling for railway industry. This is a challenging problem with a strong potential for rail industry application.

Applications are therefore sought from individuals with an interest and experience in civil, structural, or mechanical engineering but who also have a potential interest in field testing, structural dynamics, seismic engineering and uncertainty quantification. Candidates must have a strong academic background in engineering, applied science or applied mathematics. Enthusiasm, can-do attitude and strong skills in structural mechanics, dynamics and mathematical and computer modelling (or strong motivation and clear potential to learn these), and willingness to engage in experimental work are a must. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate both a clear potential for research excellence and their suitability for research project described above.

Informal enquires can be sent to Dr Sakdirat Kaewunruen ([email protected]) and in the first instance should contain a covering letter and a CV.

To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project, it is for self-funded students only.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 18.10

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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