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 and Surveying and will be supervised by Dr Sepehr Abrishami, Dr Mark Danso, and Dr Benjamin Aziz.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Developing a sustainable guideline to design dynamic structures – prefabricated modular systems, which are rapidly deployable, quickly assembled, expandable, adoptable, demountable, relocatable and reusable.
  • Prefabricated units composed of a range of modular elements that can be shipped flat-back and easily assembled, disassembled, joined with each other or separate from each other during its lifecycle, allowing the end-users to be a part of the process.
  • End-user control of the evolution and extension of their own space based on their requirements during its lifecycle.

In recent years, one essential requirement of modern construction is improving sustainability, and reduction of the economic, environmental, and social impact of the building sector. Study in sustainable housing supply for the current and the next generation needs to be implemented as an endeavour in providing houses and any other applications. A sustainable and efficient alternative to vulnerability reduction and preparation of the crisis management in this regard is incremental housing strategy through using adoptable modular deployable houses, which could form a key part of a proactive strategy that has not been offered by conventional methods. It provides time-efficient housing construction approaches, while responding to the immediate large-scale interventions. Moreover, the modular construction of building structures has attracted significant attention from the construction industry due to its advantages over traditional construction methods including: faster and safer construction processes, better predictability to completion time, superior quality, fewer workers on site and less health and safety issues, reduced resource wastage, and improved sustainability.

On the other hand, our digital era is becoming the de-facto future direction in the manufacturing domain. Its main driver is the pressure of a shorter product lifecycle and leads companies to faster engineering time of their production lines, which is increasingly needed by the housing sector. In this regard, digital twin as one of the advantages of technology, leads us to automatically compose the corresponding physical processes, sharing some analogies, accelerate the design of modelling and facilitate the development of widespread networks of supply chain with a large variety of stockholders and related businesses that can significantly contribute to the advancement of construction manufacturing industry.

Fees and funding

Visit the research subject area page for fees and funding information for this project.

Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only. 

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).

Bench fees

Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.

Entry requirements

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university 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.

How to apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Sepehr Abrishami ( 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: SCES5341021