Long-term degradation of buried subsea pipeline coatings

   School of Engineering

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  Dr S Sriramula, Dr Amir Siddiq, Prof A Akisanya  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

An exciting PhD opportunity is available to work with academics at the National Decommissioning Centre (NDC) and Chevron Corporation. The PhD student will be part of a multidisciplinary team based at the NDC (https://www.ukndc.com/) in Newburgh, Aberdeenshire, working alongside a cohort of PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, senior academics, and industry colleagues.

Project Details:

The commonly used polymer coatings in subsea pipelines are made of one or combination of fusion bonded epoxy, polyethylene, and polypropylene, due to their attractive specific properties. However, there is a scarcity of in-service performance data to validate design predictions and understand their long-term performance in such environments. An understanding of the deterioration of these coatings is a key element of decommissioning strategy development when deciding whether to leave in-situ or remove for recycling. The possibility of different types of pipeline coatings and the uncertainties in the environmental and soil conditions they are subjected to further complicate any progress towards long-term deterioration modelling.

This PhD research aims to quantify the long-term degradation of polymer coatings on buried subsea pipelines by developing a detailed experimental protocol, that is supported by numerical modelling, and leading to a risk-based decision pathway for decommissioning decisions. The focus will be on the effect of bacterial community in the seabed soil on the long-term degradation, along with the consideration of interactions between relevant degradation mechanisms. The PhD candidate will also have opportunities to collaborate with researchers at other Universities and laboratories on related topics.

Candidate Requirements: Selection will be on the basis of academic merit. The successful candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in aerospace/civil/materials/marine/mechanical/offshore engineering. Knowledge of structural mechanics, numerical analysis, and experimental modelling principles is essential.


  • Formal applications can be completed online: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/pgap/login.php
  • You should apply for PhD in Engineering to ensure your application is passed to the correct team.
  • Please clearly note the name of the supervisor and project title on the application form. If you do not mention the project title and the supervisor on your application, it will not be considered for the studentship.
  • Please include a cover letter (why you are a good fit and excited to research this project - Max 2 A4 pages)
  • BSc/MSc Degree Certificates
  • BSc/MSc Academic Transcripts and official grading systems used
  • An up-to-date copy of your academic CV.
  • Please note: you DO NOT need to provide a research proposal with this application.
  • General application enquiries can be made to [Email Address Removed]
Engineering (12) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

This 42 month, fully funded project is funded by Chevron, NDC and the School of Engineering. Funding covers tuition fees (UK and International) , training expenses, research expenses and a doctoral stipend for living costs (£18,622 for the 2023/2024 Academic year).
The start date is to be agreed with the supervisors of the project but should be as soon as possible.

Where will I study?

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