Postgraduate research opportunities

Risk assessment of bridges under flood and earthquake hazards

The proposed research project aims at developing a probabilistic framework for assessing the risk of bridges exposed to flood and earthquake occurrences during their design life time, with particular focus on the damage accumulation under multiple events.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


5 March 2019


20 September 2019


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. Preference will be given to candidates with educational and/or research experience in Structural Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, and River Hydraulics. 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

The research will require the development of advanced models for describing the sources of hazards (namely earthquakes and floods) as well as the structural vulnerability under multiple events with different intensity. Extensive numerical analyses of the behaviour of bridges and buildings are also envisaged, requiring the use of state-of-the-art finite element programmes such as OpenSees and Abaqus, and of probabilistic methodologies for the propagation of the uncertainties inherent to the hazard and the structural models.


Funding Details

Funding for both tuition fees and annual living expenses available to EU citizens.