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Predictive modelling for assessing the durability of smart cement

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The cement industry is considered to be responsible for about 8% of the global man-made CO2-emission. Due to the rapidly evolving global urbanisation, the cement industry is facing the challenge of reducing its environmental footprint while dealing with a continuously increasing demand for this essential material. This has motivated the development of sustainable cementitious materials with much lower embedded CO2, such as alkali-activated earth materials, geopolymer, and smart cement functionalised by nanoparticles. However, the long-term durability performance of these sustainable materials, which plays crucial roles in determining their service life-span, has not been fully understood.

This proposed PhD project will focus on developing models for predicting the durability performance of a range of sustainable cementitious materials, combining data science with chemical thermodynamic modelling.

This project will also investigate the fundamental mechanisms that control the durability of smart cement functionalised with nanoparticles under chemical attack, using advanced characterization techniques (including XRD, solid-state NMR, ESEM-EDX, Raman spectroscopy) to conduct nanoscale inspection, using the facilities at the Material and Chemical Characterisation Facility (MC²) at UoB.

The successful candidate will have the chance to work in a dynamic team, and to attend/present at high reputation international conferences. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to engage closely with the leading international research communities, such as IoM3, RILEM and ACI.

Successful applicants will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent). Any English language requirements must be met at the deadline for applications.

Informal enquiries should be directed Dr Xinyuan Ke ()

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in 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

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of March 2019 and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

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)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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