We are pleased to announce a fully funded PhD studentship (4 years) in Civil Engineering at University of Southampton. Weirs are widely used hydraulic structures that provide accurate and robust means of measuring water flows in streams and canals. As such, they represent a key component of water management systems in the UK and worldwide. However, the flow characteristics imposed by weirs also poses significant challenges for fish migration, which often results in important negative impacts to riverine ecosystems. Previous research has identified the flow acceleration on the downstream face of weirs as the main barrier to fish migration. Increasing awareness of the environmental impacts of weirs and stricter regulations (e.g. Water Framework Directive) are shedding further light onto the need for new gauging methods that minimize impacts on fish migration.
This project will focus on the design of innovative weirs that are aimed at minimizing the negative effects on fish migration while maintaining the high accuracy of flow measurements over a wide range of flow conditions. The work will involve designing, building and testing reduced models of different weirs. Experimental tests will be performed in two hydraulics laboratories at University of Southampton. The expected outcome of the project is an innovative design of fish-friendly weirs that can be used to measure river flows with minimum environment impact. We are looking for highly motivated applicants with a MSc. or MEng. degree in Civil Engineering and strong interest in open-channel hydraulics. Candidates should also have a broader interest in interdisciplinary research in flow-structure-fish interaction.