Hydrogen (H2) has the potential to become one of the world’s most valuable green energy vectors to abandon the use of fossil fuels in the energy, transport and heating sectors, which together contribute to more than 70% of the UK CO2 emissions. The UK has an extensive network of natural gas pipelines. Hydrogen produced through clean pathways can be injected into natural gas pipelines, and the resulting blends can be used to generate heat and power with lower emissions than using natural gas alone. Blend limits depend on the design and condition of current pipeline materials, of pipeline infrastructure equipment, and of applications that utilise natural gas.
In this challenging scenario, the PhD student working on this project will assess the effect of hydrogen on the fatigue behaviour of metallic materials (i.e., steel, cast iron and brass) containing defects of different size and shape. This PhD project’s aim is to deploy high-added-value technological and scientific knowledge that allows Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics, notch mechanics, finite element modelling, and advanced fatigue assessment techniques to be amalgamated together to effectively quantify fatigue damage in defected metallic components exposed to a mix of natural gas and hydrogen.
The ambitious aim characterising this PhD project will be reached by running a comprehensive experimental investigation involving hydrogen-soaked specimens that contain artificially manufactured defects. In parallel, a complex, multi-physics body of knowledge will be assembled to lay the foundations for a novel scientific paradigm that will give rise to a transformative way of assessing fatigue damage in metallic components working in hydrogenous environment.
A fully sponsored PhD studentship is available at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering of the University of Sheffield, UK. The present project is a joint research work between the University of Sheffield, The University of Manchester, the University of Bristol and National Grid. For background information visit: https://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/gas-transmission/connections/gas-quality-blending-service-consultation
• A relevant connection with the UK, usually established by residence - Standard studentship rates (covering maintenance and fees).
• While this PhD scholarship is designed to be awarded to a home student, outstanding international applicants may be considered.
• An upper second class honours degree, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level - The successful candidates for this position must hold a good relevant undergraduate or MSc degree (Civil/Structural/Mechanical Engineering, Computational Mechanics, Materials Science).
The successful candidate must start on the 26th of September 2022
All enquiries about project, funding mechanism, and application process should be e-mailed to Professor Luca Susmel ([Email Address Removed]) – personal webpage: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/civil/staff/academic/ls.
Applications will be considered, until the position is filled.