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Limit State Design for natural building materials

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  • Full or part time
    Prof P Walker
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

The BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (, in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, is seeking eligible applicants for an PhD studentship expected to start 30th September 2019. This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding.

The structural design of non-conventional natural building materials, such as rammed earth, compressed earth block, loadbearing straw bale, and hemp-lime construction, currently lacks national standards documents to support ultimate limit state design. Design under the broader framework of BS EN 1990 currently requires expensive specialist testing to derive necessary design parameters, including design resistance. This often proves expensive and can be a barrier to wider uptake of materials at the preliminary design phase. The proposed PhD will seek to develop methodology to support designers in deriving design factors such as characteristic strength properties and in particular partial safety factors for materials. The methodology will include experimental testing and modelling, combined with data from previous published studies, international design codes and recent design projects. The outcomes will be framework to support limit state design using a range of structural natural building materials.

For further information and informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Pete Walker (Tel: +44 (0)1225 386646; email: [Email Address Removed]).

Candidates should have a first class honours degree in engineering or a closely related applied science discipline or equivalent qualifications and/or relevant experience. English language requirements must be satisfied at point of application.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture & Civil Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019 but applications for 20 January 2020 will also be considered.

Funding Notes

The ‘Michael Dickson’ studentship, subject to confirmation of funding, is expected to be fully funded by the BRE Trust and will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and maintenance in line with the UKRI Doctoral stipend rate (£15,009 per annum, 2019/20 rate) for 3.5 years full-time study. The studentship is also expected to include an allowance for travel and subsistence as well as some funds for project expenditure to acquire essential materials and minor equipment.

How good is research at University of Bath in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.38

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

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