Effects of vegetation on oscillatory flow hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics
Coastal vegetation such as seagrass protects against coastal erosion by attenuating wave energy and demobilising suspended sediments. It is also ecologically important, providing shelter, nutrients and nursery areas for a wide variety of marine species. Although substantial research has been done to understand hydrodynamic processes over vegetated beds in steady unidirectional flows, little work has been done on unsteady, wave-generated (oscillatory) flows, despite the prevalence of vegetation in many coastal environments.
The PhD research project will study detailed hydrodynamic and sediment dynamic processes under oscillatory flows over vegetated beds. Experiments will be conducted in the Aberdeen Oscillatory Flow Tunnel (AOFT), a unique research facility capable of generating oscillatory flows with periods and amplitudes equivalent to storm wave conditions. The experiments will involve a range of oscillatory flow conditions and different varieties of artificial vegetation to systematically study the effects of vegetation on the above- and within-canopy hydrodynamics, turbulence and sediment dynamics. Measurements will be made using advanced optical and acoustic measurement techniques (e.g. LDA, ADVP). Insights and data from the new measurements will be used to develop practical models for predicting wave-driven hydrodynamics and sediment transport for vegetated sea beds.
The successful candidate must have a first class honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering or related discipline with a strong background in Fluid Mechanics; candidates with a lower degree may be considered if they can demonstrate high academic potential commensurate with the challenges of successfully completing a PhD. Enthusiasm for research, an ability to think and work independently and excellent analytical skills are essential requirements.
Full funding is available for UK/EU students for the 3 years of PhD study. The funding covers tuition fees (at UK/EU rates) and a maintenance stipend of approximately £14.3k per year. Paid tutorial/demonstrating work can supplement the stipend. Applications from International students can be accepted but they must be able to cover the difference between UK/EU and International tuition fees which for 2016/2017 will be £13,400. If they cannot meet the difference we would NOT encourage an application.
Start date: Sept - Oct 2017 (negotiable)
Enquiries/applications: Dr Dominic van der A (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Professor Tom O’Donoghue (email@example.com), School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen.