PhD Studentship: ACE (Automated Construction of Earthworks): The Rapid Manufacture of an Embankment

Loughborough University - School of Civil and Building Engineering and the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Start date: January 2017

Interview date: Week commencing 9 January 2017


Primary supervisor: Dr Matthew Frost

Secondary supervisor: Dr Paul Fleming

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship based in the School of Civil and Building Engineering and working with the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University.

Project Detail:

New technologies, such as BIM and design for offsite, have led to changes in the way civil engineering structures are built. Major structures are being manufactured off site which reduces the input required to build and offers advantages for health and safety. A major invasive element in new transport infrastructure are earthworks, consequently, the industry has been challenged to produce a “Printed Embankment”.

This PhD project aims to initially identify and evaluate the methods, barriers and possible advantages the rapid manufacture of earthworks. Whist this is broad in scope, the PhD will then focus on aspects identified as part of the initial work to suit the student’s skills and interests. This may include sustainable use of materials, integration of tools and techniques of both design and construction of earthworks or optimization of processes.

This work will contribute towards £138m investment in the UK Collabatorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities ( As part of the project you will receive relevant training from the experienced team of academic supervisors. The applicant will be expected to link the work with our industry partners.

Entry requirements:

Students will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Civil, Manufacturing, Materials, Mechanical or Process Engineering, or Engineering Geology or Materials Science. A relevant Master’s degree and/or practical experience in: Construction, Geotechnical Engineering, Materials, Manufacturing or Process Control will be an advantage. Applicants are also welcomed from other engineering or applied scientific disciplines.

Funding information:

This project is funded partly by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) awarded to Loughborough University, and partly by the School of Civil and Building Engineering.

Benefits of this DTP-studentship include:

  • A tax-free stipend of £14,296 per annum for 3.5 years (Increasing in line with EPSRC recommended rates)
  • Tuition fees at the UK/EU rate
  • A Research Training Support Grant worth £1,750 to assist with training over the course of the studentship.
  • Admission as part of a cohort of EPSRC-DTP funded PhD students

Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum residency requirement

General information about the School of Civil and Building Engineering can be found at: and Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering can be found at

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Matthew Frost,, 01509 228306.

For enquiries about the application process, contact Mr Berkeley Young,, 01509 222 611.

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Civil and Building Engineering’.

Please quote reference number: GSRC2016CEI/MF

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Midlands of England