The University of Birmingham, as part of a multi-university multi-disciplinary project team, has recently been awarded a major four year research project ‘Assessing the Underworld’. This follows on from the successful Mapping the Underworld project (www.mappingtheunderworld.ac.uk), but with distinctly different goals to assess the condition of the shallow urban infrastructure using geophysical techniques. One work stream in this new project is to investigate how the condition of the ground changes with time based on, for example, active interventions, such as trenching for installing new pipes, the presence of buried utilities, which can corrode and leak with time, and external factors, such as traffic loading and weather conditions. In addition, it will investigate the influence of the ground on the condition of the surface infrastructure (roads) and the buried infrastructure (pipes and services), noting that the ground links the urban infrastructure together, and we would argue controls the overall system. Other work streams of the project are investigating whether geophysical techniques can detect these infrastructure ‘condition’ changes.
We are looking for people to conduct research alongside the research fellows, and academics to develop numerical models to investigate how the condition of the ground and associated infrastructure changes with time. This is a challenging problem with potentially unsaturated ground conditions, and the interaction of heterogeneous ground conditions with road structures and buried utilities.
Applications are therefore sought from individuals with an interest and experience in numerical modelling of geotechnical problems, but who also have a potential interest in small scale laboratory modelling (to provide simplified data sets for the numerical models).
Informal enquires can be directed to Dr David Chapman ([email protected]
) and in the first instance should contain a covering letter and a CV.
To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at: www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/drp.aspx
For excellent applicants (very good first degree), there is the potential for funding for Home / EU students that will cover fees at the current Home / EU student rate and a stipend. Overseas students are welcome to apply but should note that they will be required to be either completely self-funding, or to make up the difference between Home and Overseas fees.