Project code



School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Start dates

October, February and April

Application deadline

Applications accepted all year round

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Civil Engineering & Surveying, and will be supervised by Dr Nikos NanosDr David Begg and Dr Laurie Clough.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Investigating existing secondary structural systems, elements, materials used in radiation shielding and their response to Thermal and Impact actions.
  • Experimental studies on cement replacement and hybrid compositions that favour high strength and density concrete for radiation shielding. 
  • Numerical study investigating response of concrete shielding elements to thermal, impact and explosive blast loads.

Critical nuclear civilian and military infrastructure depends in dense concrete radiation shielding for its daily operation. Traditionally cement replacement strategies aim at increasing the density of the concrete outcome sometimes in expense of its strength characteristics. In an increasingly more complicated theatre of operations with increasing threat levels such infrastructure could potentially benefit from alternative high-strength cladding systems that would ensure the longevity of their protection characteristics under adverse thermal load and impact conditions. This PhD will investigate the response of typical secondary structural radiation shielding material, transferring thermal and structural loads while maintaining appropriate radiation shielding characteristics. Proposed material testing under thermal and impact loading will take place in order to characterise its suitability for the intended use along with the associated numerical experimentation to simulate explosive blast loads.

Alternative materials will be investigated and tested with the view to inform radiation shielding material use in places where such a function is required.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Numerical modelling (Finite Element Analysis) experience is essential.


How to apply

We encourage you to contact Dr Nikos Nanos ( to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Civil Engineering PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: SCES7700423.