Scholarships & funding opportunities

PhD Studentship Assessment Strain Effects in Pipeline Dents

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde under the supervision of Dr Julia Race and Dr Selda Oterkus. The aim of the PhD research is to develop a validated, pragmatic and useable model for determining the strain in pipeline dents from geometric measurements. Historically, industry codes and guidance for dent assessment have relied on a measurement of dent depth to determine acceptability. Subsequently the standards moved to set a limit on the level of strain induced in the pipe as a result of the dent as it was considered that this would give a better indication of dent acceptability than the depth. What is required is a methodology for calculating total dent strain that: i) is easy to use with measurements that can be readily made in the field or obtained from pipeline In-line inspection (ILI) data; ii) does not require intensive and expensive FEA to be conducted on every dent and iii) recognises the key parameters that contribute to strain concentration in the dent.

  • Number of scholarships one
  • Value Home/EU tuition fees and £14,633 stipend
  • Opens 3 May 2016
  • Deadline 31 May 2016
  • Help with Tuition fees, Living costs
  • Duration 36 months


Applications are welcome from students with a good undergraduate (upper second class or higher) and/or Masters qualification (merit or distinction) in the area of mechanical, civil or pipeline engineering. Previous experience in Finite Element Analysis would be advantageous. If English is not your first language then you should have IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. Applicants must be available to commence academic studies in the UK by September/October 2016.

The scholarship covers Home/EU tuition fees and a stipend of £14,633 per year for 36 months. An overseas student (non-EU or UK) may be considered for a partial grant up to the fee level for a Home/EU student.

Project Details

The core of the programme is the development of a Finite Element (FE) model to simulate the formation of dents of varying geometric shapes in pipelines of different dimensions and material properties using peridynamic theory and the extended finite element method (XFEM). The output from the FE model will be a dataset of total dent strain values for a range of dent and pipe geometries. This dataset will be used to develop and train an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model as a tool that can be used in the field by pipeline operators to calculate dent strain without the requirement for FE on every dent thereby enabling efficient repair decisions to be made.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted by May 31st 2016. Please email your CV, degree transcripts and covering letter to