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Enhanced design and manufacture of cold-formed steel structures

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Bagheri Sabbagh
    Dr P Dunning
    Dr Amir Siddiq
    Dr P C Davidson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Lightweight cold-formed steel (CFS) structures made of thin-walled sections are gaining popularity as a sustainable, affordable construction form for low- and medium-rise commercial and residential buildings. The advantages they offer include ease of off-site manufacture, reduced material utilisation and waste, and low cost. Compared to hot-rolled steel sections, CFS sections are more susceptible to local buckling due to the large width-to-thickness ratio of their sectional elements. Furthermore, the manufacturing process involves cold-work that affects the structural behaviour of CFS components. Low stiffness and strength in joints are structural deficiencies also inhibiting faster uptake. The aim of this project is to enhance the design and performance of stand-alone lightweight CFS structural systems at various environmental and loading conditions.

The specific objectives are:

- Experimentally determine the structural behaviour of the main load-bearing components of the CFS structural systems for multi-storey construction.
- Develop detailed finite element models of CFS components and connections validated by experiments to investigate their strength, stiffness, damping and ductility capacity.
- Optimise design of the CFS components incorporating practical and manufacturing constraints.

Successful completion of the project and publication of its results will likely lead to significant application in the CFS industry which is rapidly growing in the UK and overseas.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Civil/Strutural Engineering along with knowledge of structures and finite element modelling


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr A Bagheri Sabbagh ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])

Additional research costs (ARC) of £1,000-2,000 per annum may be required if the project involves experimental research. If the project is based on computational research only, there will be no ARC costs

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Structural Engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT.


1 Bagheri Sabbagh A., Petkovski M., Pilakoutas K., Mirghaderi R. (2013), Cyclic behaviour of bolted cold-formed steel moment connections: FE modelling including slip, J. Constr. Steel Res., 80, 100–108
2 Quatch W.M., et al. (2010). Effect of the manufacturing process on the behaviour of press-braked thin-walled steel columns. Engineering Structures, 32, 3501-3515.

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

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

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