Innovative use of Thermal Piles as heat storage to enhance Embankment Performance
Under the threat of climate change, there are two major engineering problems encountered in transport infrastructure embankments during wet winter periods, rain-induced slope instability and ice formation at road surface. One innovative solution that can exploit clean renewable energy source to mitigate these two problems simultaneously may be to install a row of discretely-spaced thermal piles at the mid-height of slope.
The project aims to explore the effectiveness of using thermal piles for improving the winter resilience of transport earthwork slopes. The research will be predominantly based on physical model studies utilising the geotechnical beam centrifuge at the University of Dundee. This facility will be used to inform greater understanding of the effects of pile heating on the soil water regime. The research outcomes will justify the dual-function of thermal piles as a new alternative sustainable engineering solution that can exploit renewable energy sources for improving the resilience of transport infrastructure embankments, for a longer design life.
The successful applicant will be fully trained in the use of the geotechnical centrifuge at the University of Dundee under the direction of the primary supervisor, and will also be co-supervised by the second supervisor at the University of Glasgow. This project is in association with Scottish Road Research Board (a partnership of Transport Scotland), the practicing engineers from which will participate in the management and provide technical advice to the project. This will give the candidate the opportunity to learn skills in an academic setting whilst maintaining project relevance to the industrial sector.
Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent).
The studentships are only open to both UK/EU nationals.
A Funded 3.5-year PhD Studentship is available at the University of Dundee within Division of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Physics and Mathematics.
The full award will cover fees at the Home/EU rate and will provide an annual stipend at standard EPSRC rate.
In the first instance interested applicants are invited to register their interest by email to [Email Address Removed], prior to formal application. Formal applications to be made via UKPASS following initial application.