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Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes

The effects of vegetation on wave hydrodynamics in coastal environments

School of Engineering

About the Project

Seabeds covered with vegetation such as seagrass protect against coastal erosion due to their ability to attenuate wave energy and demobilise suspended sediments. In addition, they are of ecological importance by providing shelter, nutrients and nursery areas for wide variety of marine species. Although substantial research has been done to understand the hydrodynamics of vegetated beds in steady, unidirectional flows representative of fluvial environments, relatively little research has been conducted to investigate vegetation effects under waves, despite the prevalence of vegetation in many coastal environments.

The PhD project will study the detailed hydrodynamic processes of wave induced flows over vegetation-covered beds in the 20-m long random wave flume at the University of Aberdeen. The experiments will involve a range of wave conditions and different varieties of artificial vegetation to systematically study the hydrodynamic processes within and above the vegetation canopy. The measurements will include detailed water particle velocity measurements using the laboratory’s PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) and LDA (Laser Doppler Anemometry) systems. Data from the experiments will be used to test and validate numerical models for the propagation of waves over vegetated seabeds in the coastal zone.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in engineering or related discipline that includes fluid mechanics will provide the essential knowledge.

Essential background: civil or mechanical engineering or other relevant physical science.

Prior knowledge of the following would be beneficial but is not essential: sea wave mechanics; environmental fluids mechanics, laboratory measurements in fluid mechanics.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

Informal inquiries can be made to Prof T O’Donoghue (), with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Additional research costs of up to £2,000 in total,, may be required. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT

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