Offer: PhD Studentship: In-situ Sensing and Structural Engineering:
Qualification Type: PhD
The Opportunity: Engineers could use sensor data from existing structures to make future designs more efficient, and to apply new materials and technologies with confidence.
The Problem: Sensor data from structures are difficult to interpret because they contain the mixed response to many unknown actions on the structure.
Uncertainty in design parameters such as material properties, applied loads and environmental conditions contribute to conservatism in structural design. This conservatism leads to increased material usage, and over-reliance on established materials and construction methods with high environmental impact, all of which must change if structural engineers are to contribute to mitigating climate change.
Structural sensing can help engineers to reduce uncertainty in design parameters by generating datasets of real loading and in-situ material properties. The process of ?model updating? can help engineers recognise which values physical parameters should take so that their models better reflect real behaviour. This results in both a model which can be used to plan future changes to the structure and its use, and a basis for checking for damage. All of this is only possible if the data from sensors can be processed to give significant information about the underlying structure, and that's not as easy as it might sound.
In-situ structural measurements are more difficult to process than lab test data. In situ, we tend to only measure the response of the structure, not the actions which caused it. Our measurements are also formed from the effects of various actions acting at once: temperature, wind and traffic loading, for example. In this project, you will have access to in-situ measurements from bridge structures at different scales: a footbridge and a large cable-stay road bridge, and you will generate novel methods to extract useful information sensor data.
See these links for examples of structures with broad sensor networks:
NB: Do not ask candidates to email their CV directly. Applications should always be via the University's online system; the advert will give a ?click here to apply? link that explains how to apply.
The standard stipend in Engineering is £15.6k per year in 2016, with annual increments. Any stipend will be at this rate, unless stated below.
Applications are welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere
Funding is available for this project:
Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students can apply, but the funding only covers the Home/EU fee rate)
All adverts will list our standard entry General Requirements:
» a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent).
» the University's English language requirements.
» An undergraduate degree in civil engineering