Eng D Studentship in Siesmically Resistant Mud Brick Construction

In collaboration with Ramboll UK, the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering at the University College London has funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for an EngD studentship (4 year programme) for the following project:

Innovative Concepts for Seismically Resistant Mud Brick Construction

The international distribution of mud brick buildings (adobe, rammed earth and cement stabilised blocks) closely follows the distribution of earthquake zones and it is estimated that one third of the world’s population live in mud brick buildings. The recent earthquakes in Iran (2003), Peru (2007) and Pakistan and China (2008) have resulted in large loss of life due to the collapse of such structures.

Recent research has developed a rigorous and scientific approach to the understanding of the engineering behaviour of this building material by viewing mud bricks in the framework of unsaturated soil mechanics. This methodology allows a much more quantitative approach to be adopted, and may allow a bridge between earthquake soil dynamics and building dynamics, which has not previously been investigated.

This project extends this approach through theoretical and experimental investigations of the seismic performance of plain mudbrick structures and those that have been reinforced with fibres, using unsaturated soil mechanics concepts in a way that has not been done before. This project also aims to produce manuals and guidelines based on sound engineering principles, modelling and physical testing. These would then be used by field engineers and local masons in both disaster relief and long term reconstruction projects.



Applicants must have at least a 2.1 degree in an Engineering, Physics or Maths discipline or an MSc or MA in a related subject. Ability to speak Spanish would be useful in collaborating with research groups in South America but it is not essential. Applicants should be curious, highly motivated, and able to work both independently and in a team.

For a place on the EngD programme, applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility requirements. Visit this website for more information: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/PostgraduateTraining/StudentEligibility.htm

To apply, please e-mail a short statement about your suitability for the position and your CV to Dr. Pedro Ferreira (Contact). Successful applicants will be called for an interview as soon as possible. The application deadline will be published later.

For further details, download the Expose on EngD Mud Brick Construction Programme