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PhD studentship - Risk Assessment of Masonry Bridges under Flood Conditions: Hydrodynamic Effects of Debris Blockage and Scour, UK

This PhD studentship is part of a larger EPSRC-funded project assessing the risks to masonry bridges from flooding. Failure of bridges, which are vital links in the national transport network, can lead to loss of life and significant damage, have severe knock-on effects on local and national economies, and hamper post-flood rescue and recovery efforts. The project will use a combination of experimental investigations and numerical modelling to characterize the hydrodynamic effects of debris blockage, which is one of the major causes of bridge failure during floods, and implement findings within guidance for practitioners.

You will lead the work-package on numerical modelling within the project. You will be responsible for creating the CFD models required to simulate flow under masonry bridges and around bridge piers with floating debris blockage, particularly investigating the hydrodynamic effects of scour and pressure forces on bridges. You will develop novel approaches to modelling scour using advanced techniques such as dynamic meshing and modern turbulence models and LES, and compare results with in-house experimental data to validate the results. You will be part of a multidisciplinary research team that is composed of leading researchers from Exeter, Heriot-Watt and Belgrade, and will be assisted by an industry-led steering committee including consultants, asset owners and stakeholder groups involved in bridge management in the UK.

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