Improved characterisation of bed sediment in shallow water environments using bathymetric sonar - PhD Studentship

Cranfield University

Start Date: May 2017
Eligibility: UK, EU* 
Duration of award: 3 years 
Dr. Robert Grabowski – Lecturer in Catchment Science
Dr. Alessio Balleri – Radar Lecturer, Sensors

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), in collaboration with ITER Systems, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £16,000 - £ 19,000 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for three years 

In this funded PhD studentship, the successful candidate will work with manufacturers to develop new sensor configurations, novel transmitted sonar signals, and innovative signal processing for application to shallow water environments. The main outcome will be an acoustic method to characterise vertical and horizontal variations in sediment properties, which has significant potential applications for exploration, navigation, flood risk assessment as well as for geomorphological research.

The PhD student will use a combination of approaches in their research: geo-acoustic simulations, laboratory testing, and field experimental trials. The field experiments will involve the testing of the sonar array and single processing in different types of shallow water environments, as well as repeat visits to lowland and/or transitional waterways to detect changes in bathymetry and sediment characteristics. The sonar fieldwork will be boat-based and will be complimented with sediment sampling (e.g. cores/grabs) and current profiling (ADCP) measurements. The discipline-specific knowledge and experience in acoustics, along with the rigorous research training of PhD programme, will prepare the student well for a future career in industry or academia.

The student will be based at Cranfield University in the School of Water, Energy and Environment and will interact with researchers at Cranfield Defense and Security at the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham. The student will also spend several months in France working with the sonar manufacturers, ITER Systems.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as engineering, physical oceanography, earth sciences, computer science, or mathematics. The ideal candidate would be self-motivated, and have knowledge and practical experience in acoustics, good communication skills in English, an interest for industrial research, and an enthusiasm for getting out of the lab to test the equipment in rivers, lakes and ports.

 The studentship is only available to UK and other EU nationals (due to funding criteria, EU nationals who have not been resident in the UK for the three years prior to the start of their studentship will be restricted to a fees-only award). 

How to apply:
For further information, please contact: Dr Robert Grabowski, E:, T: (0)1234 758360.

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:

School of Water, Energy and Environment
T: 44 (0)1234 758008

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