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Sustainable future yacht and small craft structures

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, August 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Supervisor: James Blake & Jeanne Blanchard (Maritime Engineering)

Project description

Most small sailing and motor craft are constructed from glass reinforced polymers (GRP) and the industry represents, by volume, one of the most prolific constructors of worldwide glass composites. GRP has proven through life operational efficiency, facilitating low craft displacements and therefore lower installed power requirements and are cheap to build, maintain and repair. However, GRP has significant environmental impact at the beginning and end of life. To improve and reduce carbon emissions, this PhD research will investigate the utility of natural fibres and resins, and recyclable or biodegradable polymers to create future marine small craft. The challenge is to understand the effect of the marine environment on the structural reliability of these new materials, generating the data set for future design guidance and test the limits of current construction processes. The research will be supported by state of the art experimental facilities and techniques to detail multiscale material behaviour and understand fluid structure interactions. Two key supporters of this initiative are the World Sailing Sustainability Commission and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Key Skills: composite engineering, computer programming, experimental testing, structural engineering

Entry Requirements
A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter James Blake under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:
Research Proposal
Curriculum Vitae
Two reference letters
Degree Transcripts to date
Apply online:

For further information please contact:

How good is research at University of Southampton in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.23

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

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