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Investigating Long-term Effects of Seawater on Subsea Composite Properties

Project Description

Over the past 20 years, the use of composite materials in the oil and gas industry has seen a slower uptake subsea than in topside applications. The majority of structural applications have been of low safety class. e.g. gratings and hatches on manifolds, protection covers etc. The desire of operators to lower costs and install at greater depths means there is a drive to utilise composite materials in more critical structures. In order to safely do so, a greater understanding of both the long-term effects of seawater and the fatigue performance of composite materials is required.

Collaborating with a global company with experience in oil and gas projects both onshore and offshore, the aim of the project is to perform experimental and numerical modelling with the view to determine the effects of sea water saturation over 25 years at water depths up to 2000m on composites comprised of a range of fibre-reinforced plastics.

The project will involve material testing and development of a method to degrade the material properties; there may additionally be the opportunity to collaborate with DNV GL in this area. The project will also include a finite element study to determine the long-term performance of a subsea composite structure.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Applied Mathematics, Solid / Structural Mechanics, or Mechanical Engineering.

Good knowledge of composite materials and associated test programmes, and strong modelling skills using Abaqus or ANSYS would be a significant advantage.


• 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 Prof M Kashtalyan ( ) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of 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 View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT.

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