Current PhD Opportunities

Please contact the relevant supervisor for further details.


Carbon dioxide sequestration through ocean fertilization and potential for harvest of calcium carbonate from marine organisms

Rapid buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide, introduced through the burning of fossil fuels as well as industrial activities such as structural constructions, is the primary driver of a warming trend which poses a variety of risks to human populations and cities they inhabit. This project aims at investigating the practicality of one specific form of carbon removal, namely ocean fertilization.

Read the project advert: SCE037AM

Dr Ali Mashayek
Prof Chris Cheeseman

Ultra-high performance concrete for defence applications

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is a high-strength and high-ductility construction material produced by blending Portland cement with fine reactive powders, fibres and other admixtures. It is increasingly used in conventional infrastructure and has huge potential to be developed as a novel blast resistant material for defence applications. However, there are a number of fundamental questions concerning its composition, processing and properties that need to be resolved to enable wider exploitation. The aim of this project is to address some of these questions to improve our scientific understanding in order to further develop and optimise UHPC for defence applications.

Read the project advert: SCE036AP

Prof Chris Cheeseman
Mr Andy Pullen
Dr Robert Vollum
Dr Hong Wong
Defence Science and Technology

Development and testing of low carbon magnesioum oxide cements from olivine basalt

The research to be completed at Imperial will involve optimising the MgO-SiO2 cement system combined with some other components, in terms of production and performance. Sustainable low carbon materials for use in the built environment are critical to our future. This project will provide an opportunity to work with leading scientists and engineers in this important area. It will offer significant potential for innovation and the use of a wide range of experiment techniques in the new Centre for Infrastructure Materials. It will also involve the opportunity to work in New Zealand with key collaborators as a key part of the research team.

Read the project advert: SCE034CC

Prof Chris Cheeseman
University of Canterbury

A systems engineering approach to off-site production: from requirements to customer solution

This project considers construction as a manufacturing process. It takes systems engineering templates and processes and uses these to trace and inform the logic of decisions in integrated Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) processes from a systems perspective. It aims to improve the traceability of requirements through the development process into a customer solution in order to facilitate the development of new template design processes; to establish the information needed for verification; to reduce variability, and to understand the resilience/flexibility of the production process.

Read the project advert: SCE026JW

Prof Jennifer Whyte
Laing O'Rourke

Near Real-Time Modelling and Failure Diagnosis of Water Distribution Networks

This project will focus upon the near real-time modelling and failure diagnosis of water distribution networks. The work is motivated by the increasing need for water companies to optimize performance by gaining between understandings of the behaviour of their complex large scale networks.

Read the project advert: SCE009IS

Dr Ivan Stoianov
Cla-Val (with Bristol Water)

Design and Control of Intelligent Water Networks with Dynamically Configurable Network Topologies

This project investigates the design and operation of intelligent water supply networks with dynamically configurable topologies. It is motivated by the increasing need for water companies to reduce leakage levels by actively managing pressure whilst at the same time providing higher quality of service to customers (e.g. a reduction in supply interruptions).

Read the project advert: SCE010IS

Dr Ivan Stoianov
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

Liquefaction vulnerability assessment of lifelines

The project aims to develop a rigorous methodology for estimating liquefaction induced damage to lifelines systems, based on data collected during the 2010-2011 Canterbury (New Zealand) earthquake sequence.

Read the project advert: ‌SCE005SK

Dr Stavroula Kontoe

Simulating the impact of blue-green infrastructure on the local microclimate of urban areas

The project aims to quantify the impact of integrating urban green infrastructure (vegetated areas, green roofs, facades etc.) with blue infrastructure (urban water) on the local microclimate (temperature, humidity, air quality) in urban areas by means of high resolution large-eddy simulation.

Read the project advert: SCE012MVR

Dr Maarten van Reeuwijk
Dr Ana Mijic

Improving resilience of embankment dams and levees to internal erosion

This project will focus on a type of internal erosion referred to as internal instability. Internal instability refers to selective erosion of usually the finer fraction of a soil due to seepage. The work is motivated by a shortcoming in engineering understanding of this problem.

Read the project advert: SCE007COS

Prof Catherine O'Sullivan
Testing to amend later