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Investigating the Interactions between Drilling Mud and Surrounding Soil in Horizontal Directional Drilling

Project Description

Horizontal directional drilling is a technique that offers the ability to install pipes and cables without the need for open cut excavation. Drilling mud is used to maintain the annulus during drilling and pipe installation, cool the cutting bit, flush cuttings from pilot hole and back reaming operations as well as provide lubrication during pipe installation. However, the interaction between the drilling mud and the surrounding soil is poorly understood and can have a significant impact upon the performance of the installation, for example: hydrofracture, loss of drilling fluid into surrounding soil or differential pressure sticking, can jeopardise pipe installations using horizontal directional drilling. The proposed study would utilise an experimental investigation to determine how the drilling mud interacts with various soils under low pressure environments synonymous with shallow utility installations to better understand the behaviour of drilling mud.

Informal enquires can be sent to Dr Alexander Royal () or Dr David Chapman () and in the first instance should contain a covering letter and a CV.

To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at:

Funding Notes

For excellent applicants (very good first degree), there is the potential for funding for Home / EU students that will cover fees at the current Home / EU student rate and a stipend. Overseas students are welcome to apply but should note that they will be required to be either completely self-funding, or to make up the difference between Home and Overseas fees.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Civil and Construction Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 18.10

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

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