Advanced Engineering Analysis of Chalk in Construction
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
February and October
Applications accepted all year round
This is a self-funded PhD project studying Advanced Engineering Analysis of Chalk in Construction. Supervised by Dr Muhammad Ali and Dr Alireza Tatari, the project will take 3 years on a full-time basis, and 6 years on a part-time basis.
Chalk has been used by humans for thousands of years for its physical, chemical and mechanical properties. It has been used as a raw material for cement and as a means to control soil acidity; as filler in paper and plastic and as a white pigment; and as means for neutralising acid gasses generated in power plants.
Pure chalks are mainly built up of whole and fragmentary skeletons produced by planktonic algae known as coccolithophorids. However, while there is significant information available on the formation and history of chalk, there is a comparatively limited amount of in-depth research on the mechanical properties of chalk.
There's already strong evidence that chalk is a sound building and construction material and Portsmouth's location in Southern England - where chalk is in plentiful supply - makes it the ideal location to study chalk's application.
This study is a timely one, chalk has recently been used for a number of large construction projects, such as the channel tunnel and development of Portsmouth’s M275 motorway.
The work will include:
- the use of Finite Element Method (FEM) modelling to simulate the nonlinear shear behaviour of earthwork in chalk
- considering which of two approaches (micro and macro modelling) will be used for the calibration of the FEM model based on the experimental results, as well as for the simulation of the experimental results and the sensitivity analysis which will further explore the impact of variability in chalk in properties
- Using numerical modelling to evaluate the performance and behaviour of earthwork in chalk when subjected to different loading conditions
On this project you'll assess the future issues of chalk in engineering related projects, employing advanced computing techniques for investigation, testing, modelling and design of construction-related earthwork.
This research is intended to bridge the gap between experimental testing and numerical modelling of chalk-based construction.
The end goal of this research is to develop reliable and accurate numerical models for future earthworks including foundations, embankments, and piling in chalk.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*
International full-time students: £15,900 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,950 p/a*
By Publication Fees 2019/2020
Members of staff: £1,610 p/a*
External candidates: £4,327 p/a*
*Fees are subject to annual increase
- The project requires a candidate with a good first degree (minimum 2.1 or equivalent) in Civil Engineering, Engineering Geology, and Geology, Computing or a related subject.
- Training will be offered on FEM software including PLAXIS, DIANA or ABACUS and on other relevant laboratory equipment.
- A suitable MSc/MPhil/MEng degree with a background in Geotechnical Engineering and or Geology computer modelling is desirable.
- This project is suitable for both home/EU and or International students.
- You’ll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (depending upon chosen course, minimum second class or equivalent) or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject.
- Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
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