Current PhD Opportunities

Please contact the relevant supervisor for further details.


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

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

New low-carbon cements for sustainable infrastructure development manufactured from olivine

This project will provide an exciting opportunity to be part of the new Centre for Infrastructure Materials based in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Imperial College London. It is also in collaboration with the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Ongoing research in New Zealand is developing a process to produce magnesium oxide and silica from the mineral olivine. This process allows low-energy production of magnesium oxide and therefore has the potential to produce low-carbon cements. The work at Imperial will focus on developing new binder systems by optimising combinations of magnesium oxide and silica combined with other components. Research will involve optimising the production, performance and modelling the reactions and microstructure of the new materials developed. Sustainable low-carbon cementitious binder materials for use in the built environment and other applications are critical to deliver future sustainable infrastructure and this project provides an opportunity to work with leading scientists and engineers in this important research area. The new Centre for Infrastructure Materials at Imperial will provide exceptional facilities to complete the research and there will be opportunities to work in New Zealand as a key part of the research team. The project is suitable for candidates with a background in civil engineering or materials science, but we would also like to encourage applications from candidates with first degrees in other related physical sciences and engineering disciplines.

Read the project advert: SCE034CC

Prof Chris Cheeseman
University of Canterbury, New Zealand

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
Testing to amend later