PhD Studentship: Long term thermo-mechanical behaviour of heat exchanging pile foundation

University of Surrey

Supervisors: Dr Rao Martand Singh

                         Professor S Bhattacharya

Funding status: Directly Funded Project (European/UK Students only)

Deadline: Monday 31st October 2016

Project title: Long term thermo-mechanical behaviour of heat exchanging pile foundation

Project description:

We are pleased to announce a three year PhD scholarship for the following research project in Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Surrey in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Long term thermo-mechanical behaviour of heat exchanging pile foundation

Last decade was the hottest since the temperature records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Climate change has accelerated in the last decade and there is no sign of abating. In such a critical time there has been a tremendous pressure on scientists and engineers to design and develop energy efficient sustainable technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Geotechnical Engineers recently started to explore the possibilities of using ground energy via pile foundations for space heating and cooling of superstructures. The concept has been derived from ground source heat pump technology where vertical heat exchanging loops are installed within the reinforcement cage of a pile foundation of a building to harness stable ground temperature. Pile foundation integrated with heat exchangers uses ground as heat source during the winter to keep the building warm and heat sink during the summer to keep the building cool. Consequently pile foundation and surrounding ground are subjected to varying degree of temperature during the year which may affect thermal and mechanical properties/performance of the pile and soil. There have been few short term field and laboratory studies on heat exchanging pile foundations but questions still remain about the long term performance of such foundations. Therefore this research project investigates the long term thermo-mechanical behaviour of heat exchanging pile foundations subjected to cyclic heating and cooling load in addition to building load.

The scholarship covers UK/EU tuition fees and living expenses.

Applicants are expected to complete an application process to the University of Surrey and to satisfy its entry requirements. They should have an Undergraduate degree in Engineering and Masters degree in Geotechnical Engineering or in a related discipline. For more information or application enquires please contact Dr Rao Martand Singh (

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter detailing your experience and why you’re right for this role to:

For more information about our Department please see:

Funding notes

Funding is available for UK / EU nationals only and covers full tuition fees (home rate) and a stipend at the rate specified by the Research Council (rate for 2016-2017 is £14,057 p.a. tax-free). The award will be for a period of 3 years from a mutually agreed starting date (one of: 1st October, 1st January, 1st April, 1st July).

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