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Risks to Arctic offshore operations: Consolidation and strength of thick sea ice features

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Sammonds
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction invites applications for a fully funded 3-year UCL Impact Studentship with NTNU

Primary Supervisor: Professor Peter Sammonds (IRDR)
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Michel Tsamados (UCL Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling)
Tertiary Supervisors: Dr Knut Hoyland (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway) Dr Eleanor Bailey (C-Core, Newfoundland, Canada) Proposed Research

This project focuses on the development of a thermal consolidation and failure model for rafted and ridged sea ice. The model will resolve outstanding problems of the consolidation process including the impact of salt released during freezing and the influx of sea water into a keel. The model equations will be analyzed but also solved numerically. Fracture will be addressed by analysing the shear fracture energy required to rupture ice freeze bonds as a function of the degree of consolidation. These will be employed in discrete element modelling. The model study will be guided by laboratory experiments of consolidation and strength of sea ice in the UCL cold room, where the evolving temperature and salinity distributions will be measured. Shear fracture experiments will measure the energy for breaking freeze bonds and bending experiments will measure the bending strength of consolidated floes.


The model will be validated against field measurements. The UCL student will work cooperatively with students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim and the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), working on numerical simulations of sea ice interactions with offshore structures and full scale sea ice properties.

UCL INSTITUTE FOR RISK & DISASTER REDUCTION (IRDR) The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction aims to provides a focus for UCL’s risk and disaster reduction (RDR) activities, which span earth and space sciences, mathematics and statistics, engineering and development planning, population health, anthropology, ethics and laws. By promoting novel multidisciplinary research and its translation into practice, the Institute aims to establish a role of international leadership in RDR. We are seeking to appoint outstanding individuals to our research studentships to develop world class research and contribute to enhancing the impact of that research.


Student Prerequisites A successful candidate will have a good honours degree in engineering, physics or geophysics with an enthusiasm for computational modelling and fieldwork, and an aptitude for laboratory experiments. An MSci, MSc or MRes degree would be an advantage. Funding is available for UK/EU students only. Training and support The student will receive training in numerical modelling and laboratory ice physics, joining an active research groups working on problems of polar modelling and ice strength in Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling and in the Rock and Ice Physics Laboratory at UCL. UCL has a programme of courses promoting transferable skills such as research planning and presentation, computing and scientific writing. Career prospects Careers In research in arctic engineering and geophysics, and in risk and hazard assessment and management in the City would be open to the graduate.
For further information contact: Peter Sammonds ([email protected]) Application: Please see www.ucl.ac.uk/rdr/
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