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Understanding the behaviour of railway ballast during traffic loading and maintenance

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Stefanos Papanicolopulos
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

The Granular Mechanics and Industrial Infrastructure research group, at the School of Engineering of the University of Edinburgh, conducts fundamental research on the mechanics of granular materials and their interaction with industrial infrastructure, with broad applications in silo design, bulk solids handling, paste rheology, fluidisation and natural hazard mitigation. We are currently looking for candidates for the following funded PhD positions:

Understanding the behaviour of railway ballast during traffic loading and maintenance

Railways are one of the most important modes of transportation for people and freight, playing a vital role in economic development. However there are many unsolved challenges for innovation and fundamental science in developing sustainable railway substructure using ballasted track. This project will use the Discrete Element Method (DEM), together with full-scale physical model testing on railway ballast, to investigate the role of inter-particle contact friction and geometric interaction due to ballast particle interlocking in producing the complex bulk responses observed in track roadbed.

Contact: Dr Stefanos Papanicolopulos ([email protected])


Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and hold (or be expected to gain) either a first class honours degree (or the international equivalent) or an MSc with distinction (or the international equivalent). Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates are sought with a solid background in civil, mechanical, chemical engineering, or in physics and mechanics. A good grasp of mechanics and experience in programming and computational modelling would be advantageous.

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in General Engineering?
(joint submission with Heriot-Watt University)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 91.80

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

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