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PhD CASE Studentship with Ryder Geotechnical: Assessing the impact of scour on the capacity of foundations for floating offshore wind turbines

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Rouainia
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Number of awards

Start date and duration
September 2020 for four years

Scour can have a significant effect on the capacity of offshore foundations¸ reducing the available holding power¸ and risking failure. Scour is typically assessed by making an allowance for a scour pit around the pile during the design process¸ or by carrying out ground improvement measures post or prior to installation. These options are considered reasonably conservative¸ and the latter can have environmental effects. Within the oil and gas industry where a single large structure is installed with a small number of mooring piles¸ the consequence of conservatism is considered negligible; however¸ when considering floating wind farm arrays¸ which will use a significant number of piles¸ the consequence of scour will be significant.

This study aims to assess the effects of scour using 3D finite element analysis with advanced soil constitutive models¸ able to capture the combined effects of scour and cyclic loading. Scour effects on design loads will be quantified through pile rotation accumulated with increasing numbers of load cycles and cumulative pore-water pressure over time as plastic strain develops.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Ryder Geotechnical

Name of supervisor(s)
Dr M Rouainia (

Eligibility Criteria
The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

It is anticipated that the successful applicant will have a first degree at 2:1 or 1st class (or equivalent relevant experience) in civil engineering¸ science or related discipline. A relevant Master’s degree and/or employment experience is an advantage. Experience in numerical modelling in geotechnical engineering and in particular with the use of advanced constitutive models would also be desirable. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

How to apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system (

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk in the application portal must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

insert the programme code 8040F in the programme of study section
select PhD Civil Engineering (full time) Civil Engineering (Geotechnical)
as the programme of study

insert the studentship code CAS20-05 in the studentship/partnership reference field
attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code CAS20-05 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

Dr M Rouainia [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and annual living allowance of £15,009 plus an industrial top up. Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

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