This 4-year PhD project at the University of Strathclyde is funded by UK Research Waste Management Research Support Office (RWM RSO) and aims to provide an experimental characterization on the hydromechanical behaviour of compacted bentonite when wetted with high salinity water.
Bentonite is currently proposed as a backfill material for high heat generating wastes and fuels. It is also proposed as a seal material for access ways (shafts/drifts/tunnels) and investigation boreholes.
The PhD candidate will explore, at the micro and meso scales, the impact of salinity on key physical properties of bentonite (e.g. swelling pressure and hydraulic conductivity) and the fundamental mechanisms underlying these processes. The research will mainly be experimentally-based and the PhD candidate will make use of the geomechanics laboratory (https://www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/civilenvironmentalengineering/ourfacilities/geomechanicslaboratories/ ) and of state of the art technologies for the investigation of the clay microstructure including X-Ray Computed Tomography, Environmental Scanning Microscopy, and Mercury Intrusion Porosimeter (https://www.strath.ac.uk/research/advancedmaterialsresearchlaboratory/ ).
joining a vibrant geotechnical community at Strathclyde, the candidate will
join the International Research Centre For Clay Micromechanics
(https://www.irccm.net ) which will provide the opportunity for international
collaborations and to spend a period abroad in one of the partner universities
(i.e. Chalmers University of Technology - Sweden, University of Twente - The
Netherlands, Université Grenoble Alpes – France, University of Brasilia –
Brazil, Politecnico di Bari – Italy, Technical University of Denmark – Denmark)
The PhD candidate will be supervised by Dr Matteo Pedrotti and Prof Rebaca Lunn at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.
Applicants will have a relevant bachelors or master’s degree, examples include civil engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Physics. As part of the research, the applicant will be expected to participate in relevant national and international conferences, meet with the industrial/university partners and to develop journal papers within the research field.
In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.
Information about the host department can be found by visiting: