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Smart Crack-closure technology for self-healing concrete.

Cardiff School of Engineering

Cardiff United Kingdom Civil Engineering Structural Engineering

About the Project

This project will focus on innovative research with the ultimate goal of designing concrete structural elements which are completely self-sustaining, and capable of detecting, recognizing and curing damage. The longevity of concrete structures is a global concern due to problems that arise from cracking. A potential solution to this problem is to use smart crack-closure technologies designed to close cracks as they form.

The research work will focus on the development of a new digitally controlled biomimetic system embedded in concrete structural elements to detect and close cracks. The project provides an exciting opportunity to work with a world-class team on a novel technology that has considerable societal benefits. The need to enhance the service life and reduce maintenance costs of structures

has driven an increased demand for self-healing technologies in recent years.

The use of smart crack-closure technologies will lead to the production of more adaptable structural elements promoting offsite manufacturing and consequently reducing the associated waste and CO2 emissions.

The project will exploit novel design and manufacturing techniques, offering engagement with multiple disciplines spanning from polymer science and structural analysis to electronics and computer coding.

The work developed over this project will also offer the possibility of acquiring a detailed understanding on self-healing structures by consistently collecting data over the research period. The latter could be used to design knowledge-based design digital tools for these innovative structures.

 This is a self-funded research project. Applicants need to have adequate funds to meet the costs of a self-funded research project including tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research programme.

Candidates should hold an undergraduate honours degree (2:1) or a MSc degree (Merit or Distinction) in an area of Structural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, or other relevant areas. Knowledge of finite element analysis is required, and MATLAB/Python coding would be advantageous. 

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

For additional information please contact Dr Brunella Balzano


Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University  webpages ( ) including;

·        an upload of your CV

·        a personal statement/covering letter

·        two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

·        Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of either 1st April, 1st July or 1st October; 2021.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided.

Funding Notes

This is a self funded project open to applicants worldwide.

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