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Recruiting PhD student at Imperial College London to study stability and resilience of coastal protection structures, UK
The Applied Modelling and Computation Group (AMCG) at Imperial College London is recruiting a PhD student to study the "stability and resilience of coastal protection structures" under the supervision of Dr J-P Latham and Dr Jiansheng Xiang and in collaboration with Baird Associates and Ottawa University.
Researchers at Imperial College are now able to use numerical models to thoroughly examine the response of breakwaters and coast protection structures to storm wave action for the first time literally by simulating each block and its interactions with neighbours under variable storm wave forces. There are some fascinating and topical science and engineering questions to be addressed using our Solidity code (based on FEMDEM modelling methods). These go to the heart of the behaviour of granular matter itself, while helping to find the next generation of properly optimised designs for engineers wrestling with climate change. Questions might include: what characteristics make one shape of block perform better than another? How can heterogeneity in the packed system be reduced to a minimum to help improve the resilience of a protection structure?
The AMCG research group have the potential to provide such answers but there are challenges ahead which we would like this project and its PhD student to help address.
AMCG's work with coastal engineering companies Artelia, and Baird & Associates, has advanced considerably in recent months and for the first time the codes are parallelized and can be used efficiently to examine stability during CFD-simulated storm. The Coastal Engineering Consultants, Baird & Associates plan to undertake laboratory model investigations specially designed to validate the simulation methodology and will partner further modelling developments of the PhD student.
Our new Wave Proxy approach aims to calibrate pressures using Computational Fluid Dynamics codes (e.g. OpenFOAM, Fluidity) to capture storm waves and hydrodynamic forces that push, pull and lift the units that are otherwise pinned by contacts  with neighbours.
The Project aim is to develop the Wave Proxy model/technology in response to ongoing findings of the Wave Proxy validation study in Ottawa University's Hydraulics Laboratory. You will be using Solidity to construct realistic structures with rocks and concrete units, running CFD codes to create wave-induced hydrodynamic pressure distributions appropriate for different structures and examining the system response with Solidity and a host of analysis tools. The research will include developments in armour unit build procedures, expansion of the range of investigated concrete units, unit sizes, rock underlayers. A further aim is to use the Wave Proxy Tools to investigate the fundamental mechanisms at work when a structure responds to storm action.
The successful candidate should have experience running advanced research software, a good mathematical background and a degree/diploma in an appropriate field such as earth science, physics, mathematics, computer science or engineering. Coding skills will be an advantage. Good written and spoken communication skills are essential. Students applying from UK/EU are eligible for consideration of departmental scholarships.
For more information please contact John-Paul Latham (j.p.latham@imperial.ac.uk).
For application details please contact Samantha Symmonds
(E-mail: sam.symmonds@imperial.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 207 594 7339).
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