- Opens: Wednesday 22 February 2023
- Deadline: Monday 30 October 2023
- Number of places: 1
- Duration: 3.5 years
- Funding: Home fee, Equipment costs, Travel costs, Stipend
OverviewThe aim of the PhD project is to carry out advanced finite element modelling and 1g model testing in order to develop a better understanding of the effect of pressure cycling installation on the suction caisson behaviour during installation and the caisson in-service performance after installation.
We expect the candidate to have a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours degree or Masters degree in civil/geotechnical engineering (or other related engineering science disciplines) and prior research experience (e.g. research internships, undergraduate or Masters dissertation research) is essential. Previous experience working in industry is advantageous. Additional experiences in finite element modelling (e.g. Abaqus) and 1g model scale testing are desirable. Applicants must have excellent communication skills and the ability to conduct self-motivated research.
Suction caissons are a type of foundation commonly used to support offshore wind turbines in deep waters. They are installed by pumping water out of the caisson to create a ‘suction pressure’ (i.e. negative pressure relative to the ambient pressure) inside. Pressure cycling, which involves the cycling of the suction pressure, is often used to continue caisson penetration into the seabed when constant suction pressure is not effective. However, there is currently no method for predicting caisson penetration under pressure cycling, which can lead to significant uncertainty. There is also a critical lack of understanding of the potential effects of pressure cycling on the subsequent in-service performance of the caisson.
The aim of the PhD project is to develop a better understanding of the pressure cycling procedure and its effect on the caisson penetration behaviour during installation and the caisson in-service performance post-installation. The PhD candidate is expected to carry out the following activities to achieve the aim of the project:
- Implement large deformation finite element analysis to numerically simulate pressure cycling installation of suction caissons in clay and sand in order to investigate the effects of pressure cycling on the caisson penetration behaviour during installation and the caisson in-service performance post-installation.
- Conduct 1g model scale testing of pressure cycling installation of suction caissons in clay and sand in the laboratory to supplement findings from the numerical modelling.
- Develop a new design method to predict caisson penetration under pressure cycling
Number of places: 1
Online interviews for the shortlisted candidates will be conducted.
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Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Programme: Civil and Environmental Engineering