Effect of climate on internal erosion of dams and flood defences

Effect of climate on internal erosion of dams and flood defences

Supervisor: Dr Tom Shire (thomas.shire@glasgow.ac.uk)

Description: The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5-year PhD project entitled ‘Effect of climate on internal erosion of dams and flood defences’ within the Infrastructure and Environment Division.

Climate change will lead to hotter, dryer summers interrupted by intense rainstorms and wetter winters with a dramatic increase in peak river flows. Dams and flood defences constructed from soil fill are critical public infrastructure and climate change will mean they have to perform under more extreme conditions than ever before.

Internal erosion is one of the two main causes of failure in embankment dams and their foundations, and the main cause of failure in ageing dams. Most studies into internal erosion have concentrated on the conditions immediately after construction. The effect of climate over time (wetting and drying cycles) remains poorly understood.

This PhD project will use state of the art laboratory testing in internal erosion to study the effect of wetting and drying cycles on fill materials. This will be combined with other advanced geotechnical testing and characterisation of the soil fabric at the microscopic scale to shed new light on the effect of climate on dams and flood defences.  

Funding notes: The studentship is supported by the School, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,553 per annum for 3.5 years.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have ‘settled status’ in the United Kingdom and must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ for the past three years.

It should be noted that other terms may also apply. For full details about eligibility please visit: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx

How to Apply: Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link for admission as a postgraduate research student to the admission team in the Recruitment and International Office:


It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme with the decision on this being based on your academic achievements, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made

Deadline: 31 December 2017