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  The use of low-cost materials to improve sustainability of rural roads


   Department of Civil Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Rural roads service most of the world's population and make up a significant portion of the global road network. According to the World Bank, rural roads are estimated to about 80% of the global road network and could be more than that in low-income countries (LICs). Mostly due to financial constraints, LICs are often obliged to downgrade the designs of high-grade roads to rural roads in order to ensure longer distances coverage. However, the main challenge has remained the balance between the expense of constructing roads and the lifespan of such roads. Rural roads could be extremely deteriorated by excessive traffic loadings and rainfall erosion. To improve the sustainability of these roads, the use of low-cost materials, such as industrial waste, was thought substantial as this could also help address the problem of environmentally unfriendly landfills. This project will assess the effects of utilizing Hydrotex – 4 fibres, a geotextile commonly used to stabilize sub-ballast soils (subgrade) in ballasted railways construction, to improve the granular base courses in rural roads and surface courses in unpaved roads. Other types of geotextiles industrial wastes could also be subject to this research. Appropriate methods will be used to derive the project’s engineering and economic benefits significantly and convincingly. Some of these methods could include but not limited to analyses using Terzaghi's effective stress principle, Mohr’s circles, shear strength of improved soils, Boussinesq model of soil, as well as Everett’s first frost heave and Miller’s primary heave theories.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Successful applicants must have MSc/MEng (first or upper second class) in geotechnical engineering, civil engineering, road management and engineering, transportation engineering, highway engineering and other related areas.

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