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PhD Studentship - Understanding bedforms and their effect on the flow

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1245220DA

Supervisor: Sergio Maldonado (WEEG)

Project description

Sand ripples and dunes are ubiquitous features found in the beds of rivers and coastal waters. These bedforms are not only scientifically fascinating, but their presence is also important from an engineering perspective because they enhance the resistance experienced by the flow (or effective bed friction), which is important to e.g. design flood mitigation measures and assess shoreline stability; topics which are gaining relevance in the context of sea level rise and other climate change effects. Although the mechanics describing how these features form are relatively well understood, why they tend to the shapes they attain has been much less explored, leaving our understanding incomplete. This project tries to deepen our understanding of these bedforms by exploring possibilities based on certain principles which are often overlooked in this field, such as the second law of thermodynamics. At the end, a better understanding of these ubiquitous features and their interaction with the flow will lead to better tools employed in Civil and Environmental Engineering, particularly for the creation of long-term predictions of the evolution of rivers and coasts, which are currently highly uncertain. The successful candidate will make use of world-class resources at the university, such as powerful supercomputing facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories.

The successful candidate will have a 1st or very strong 2:1 degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or closely related disciplines and a strong interest in fluid mechanics, geophysics and environmental engineering. If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Sergio Maldonado ( Please notice that only UK applicants will be fully funded.

Key Skills: Fluid mechanics, numerical modelling

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Sergio Maldonado under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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