PhD studentship: Excess (EXtreme responses in Coastal Engineering using NewWave on Steep Structures)

University of Plymouth

DoS Dr Alison Raby (, tel.: 01752 586133)

2nd Supervisor Professor Deborah Greaves (, tel.: 01752 586122)

3rd Supervisor Dr Alessandro Antonini (

4th supervisor Dr Stuart Stripling (, tel: 01752 586146)

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on April 1st 2017.

Project Description 
Coastal and offshore structures are necessarily situated in hostile environments. Their purposes include the defence of coastlines and critical infrastructure and for energy extraction (oil/gas and marine renewables) where a single extreme event could potentially be responsible for catastrophic failure of the structure.

Findings from the EPSRC-funded ENFORCE project suggest that it may be possible to use a design wave to determine extreme responses in the coastal zone as has been used in the offshore industry. The EXCESS PhD project aims to extend the ENFORCE physical modelling approach to investigate wave interactions with steep structures. These would include near-vertical seawalls and cylindrical structures as proxies for rock lighthouses (to complement the EPSRC-funded STORMLAMP project) and marine renewable energy structures.

The study will use a focused wave group for the impacting group; specially designed to be representative of the largest wave in a sea-state. The so-called NewWave, which is the autocorrelation function of the underlying sea-state, will link the statistics of large waves in the storm to the extreme loading. The wave group will have its focus point (location of highest energy density) and phase (within the group envelope) systematically varied to identify the precise conditions that are responsible for the most extreme interactions with the structures.

Experiments will be undertaken in the COAST Laboratory at Plymouth University and may involve development of wave generation capabilities and instrumentation.

Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,296 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £11,040 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Alison Raby. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at Plymouth University is available at:

You can apply via the online application form which can be found at: and click ‘Apply’.

Please mark it FAO Francesca Niedzielski and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Marine Science and Engineering.

For more information on the admissions process contact Francesca Niedzielski.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 12 December 2016. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications.  Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by end of January 2017 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

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South West England