Project code



School of Civil Engineering and Surveying

Start dates

October 2021

Closing date

4 May 2021 (12.00pm GMT)

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three year PhD to commence in October 2021. 

The PhD will be based in the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying and will be supervised by Dr Mehdi Rouholamin and Dr Nikos Nanos.

Candidates applying for this project may be eligible to compete for one of a small number of bursaries available; these cover tuition fees at the UK rate for three years and a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£15,609 for 2021/22). Bursary recipients will also receive a £1,500 p.a. for project costs/consumables. 

The work on this project could involve

  • Experimentally investigate dynamic soil-structure interaction behaviour of offshore wind turbines supported by different foundations. 
  • Soil element testing to characterise the soil properties. 
  • Evaluating the performance and behaviour of offshore wind turbines foundations during transient phase.
The demand for generating green and clean energy is highly requested these days to replace fossil fuel. One of the renewable sources of energy is wind and therefore offshore wind turbines were designed to generate a sustainable source of energy by use of wind farms. These turbines are supported by different types of foundations such as monopile, jacket and tripod among others depending on various factors such as the amount of energy generated, depth of water, and soil profile. The loads acting on these turbines are normally wind and wave loads, however, in seismic areas they may experience extra load such as an earthquake which may lead to liquefaction. The nonlinearity response of soil along with the excess pore water pressure generation during liquefaction may cause severe damage ranging from tilting/settlement to complete collapse. During earthquake, deep foundations are more vulnerable during transient phase when the soil transits from zero-liquefaction to full-liquefaction stage (Rouholamin, 2016). Different methods of analysis can be applied in this research such as standard p-y Winkler method and advanced continuous 3D modelling. Soil characteristics can be also obtained from the soil element test to develop p-y curves for the numerical analysis (Rouholamin, 2016; Rouholamin et al. 2017; Dash et al. 2017). Interest in the effect of the load combination acting on these turbines, performance of different types of foundations and dynamic soil-structure interaction motivate further research. 

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.
You’ll need to have a basic understanding of Geotechnical, Structural and Earthquake Engineering. You should be capable of carrying out independent research, lab experiments (soil element and shaking table testing) and develop a numerical modelling using 3D software. Ability to prepare research articles is desirable.

How to apply

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

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. 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. 

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SCES5890521 when applying.