PhD Studentship in Modelling of Rail Track Drainage

University of Nottingham - Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre (NTEC)/Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics (NCG)

NTEC and NCG are undertaking a large multi-disciplinary EPSRC-funded project related to the assessment of new materials within railway track drainage systems. The project benefits from the direct involvement of industry partners and seeks to make developments which could significantly advance the methods and materials used.

NTEC is the UK’s foremost university research centre focused on road pavement and rail track engineering and materials, infrastructure asset management and operational risk and reliability. NCG brings together expertise from the worlds of civil and geotechnical engineering as well as mathematics and material sciences to solve all forms of soil- and rock-related engineering design and construction problems.

The objectives of the project are to investigate the potential for use, and whole-life cost, of new materials in railway drainage systems. The primary role of the student, within this large and challenging project, will be to develop a numerical model of the partially saturated ground water conditions beneath rail track and to use this to perform analytical drainage predictions. In addition, the student will assist with in-situ installations, laboratory modelling and data collection/processing.

We seek a highly motivated graduate researcher to join our team who is inquisitive, with a strong interest in applied research and the personality and drive to interact effectively with industry and project partners. They should be able to demonstrate interests in Geotechnical Engineering and computer-based modelling, either during their studies or in industrial experience. Experience in use of numerical modelling codes for geotechnical analysis would be particularly advantageous. Candidates will be expected to register for, and actively pursue, a PhD degree study programme.

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees (at the UK/EU rate) and a tax-free stipend for three years (£14,296 for the 2016-17 academic year). Students must have an excellent academic track record (i.e. a UK first class degree or equivalent from other countries) in Civil Engineering or cognate subject, almost certainly at MEng/MSc level. The studentship will start as soon as practicable.

To make an application, please prepare a covering letter stating clearly your research interests and how you fulfil the requirements of the studentship.  Attach a CV, academic transcripts and the names and addresses of two professional referees at least one of whom should be an academic one. Send this application to

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Mr Andrew Dawson, tel: 0115 9513902 or Email:

Further information about the work of the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre is available on and about the work of the Nottingham Centre for Geomechanics at

Closing Date: Applications will be considered at the end of each month, commencing at the end of September 2016, until the studentship is filled.

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Midlands of England