Postgraduate research opportunities

Geophysical assessment of Lime/Clay grout injection of estuary and reservoir embankments subject to badgers burrows erosion

According to studies, 46 % of dams and embankments failures are due to severe internal erosion (Foster et al., 2000). Animal burrowing can lead to a preferential path for the water flow and seepage through the flood embankments that could lead to a partial or total collapse of the structure. Geophysical survey can prov

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


3 February 2020


28 March 2020


3 years.


You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree or international equivalent, in Civil Engineering or a relevant subject. Experience conducting both numerical and experimental/field test research would be an advantage, but is not essential. The candidate will be expected to conduct work with international academic partners and should have good interpersonal skills.

An overall score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required, with individual scores of 6.0 in each of the four sub-skills: writing, reading, speaking and listening.

Eligibility for RCUK studentships

  • Research Council (RC) fees and stipend can only be awarded to UK and EU students and not to EEA or International students.
  • EU students are only eligible for RC stipend if they have been resident in the UK for 3 years, including for study purposes, immediately prior to starting their PhD.
  • If an EU student cannot fulfil this condition then they are eligible for a fees only studentship.
  • International students cannot be funded from RC funds unless they are ‘settled’ in the UK. ‘Settled’ means being ordinarily resident in the UK without any immigration restrictions on the length of stay in the UK. To be ‘settled’ a student must either have the Right to Abode or Indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have the right of permanent residence in the UK under EC law. If the student’s passport describes them as a British citizen they have the Right of Abode.
  • Students with full Refugee status are eligible for fees and stipend.

Project Details

General Aims:

To inform the risk of badgers burrows network based on Geophysical conductivity/saturation mapping of river, estuary and reservoir embankment slopes.

To assess the efficiency and completion of repair grouts injections inside the badgers setts.

Specific Objectives:

  • To establish a map of the burrows network inside embankments slopes at different depths (0.5m increments) covering the common thickness of transitional landslides and embankments slope slip surface and landward face failure after overtopping or seepage.
  • To identify the zones at risk based on conductivity/saturation levels compared with local point measurements (Geotechnical)
  • To use Electrical Resistivity Tomography Inversion and Ground Penetrating Radar to refine the conductivity model of the sub-layers of soil from the CMD mini-explorer results
  • To provide a risk evaluation map based on Geophysical and Geotechnical existing sensors data and slope stability softwares (Geoslope etc…)
  • For the methodology to be adopted by companies like Atkins and Mott Mac Donald and by the Environment Agency for reservoir safety and river embankments integrity long term monitoring.

Funding Details

Co Funded collaborator EOST (School of Geophysics) and LMDC INSA Toulouse France.