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PhD studentship: Excess (EXtreme responses in Coastal Engineering using NewWave on Steep Structures), University of Plymouth, UK

Project Description

Coastal and offshore structures are necessarily situated in hostile environments. Their purposes include the defence of coastlines and critical infrastructure and for energy extraction (oil/gas and marine renewables), where a single extreme event could potentially be responsible for catastrophic failure of the structure.

The PhD project will use a physical-modelling approach to investigate wave interactions with steep structures, including near-vertical seawalls and cylindrical structures as proxies for rock lighthouses and marine renewable energy structures. The PhD project will extend results from the recently completed EPSRC-funded ENFORCE project and complement the ongoing STORMLAMP project.

The study will use a focused wave group for the impacting group; specially designed to be representative of the largest wave in a sea-state. The so-called NewWave, which is the autocorrelation function of the underlying sea-state, will link the statistics of large waves in the storm to the extreme loading. The wave group will have its focus point (location of highest energy density) and phase (within the group envelope) systematically varied to identify the precise conditions that are responsible for the most extreme interactions with the structures. The project will involve the first scientific testing of a new type of wave-maker developed by Edinburgh Designs Limited, a world-leading leading supplier of wave-makers.

Experiments will be undertaken in the COAST Laboratory at Plymouth University. The project will be jointly supervised by Dr Ton van den Bremer at Edinburgh University, and the student will collaborate with Edinburgh Designs Limited.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,296 per annum.  The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £11,040 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Alison Raby. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.
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