PhD Studentship - Ex3D - A New Measuring Device for Measurements of Excavations

University of Leeds - Civil Engineering

Funded PhD project: Worldwide (International, UK and EU)

Value: Funding covers the cost of fees and provides a maintenance of £14,553 for the 2017/18 academic year. Funding duration is 3 years.

Number of awards: Funding for this award is not guaranteed. This research project is in competition for scholarship funding with other projects and will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Supervisors: Contact Dr Raul Fuentes to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Leeds Civil Engineering Research Excellence Scholarship

Excavations of some form are an absolutely essential part of the vast majority of civil engineering projects. The material required to backfill excavations is overestimated by approximately +10% to avoid the risk of underestimation which would subsequently take more time to acquire more material and finish the backfill. Only Gas Distribution Networks undertake 300,000 excavations each year. If each has a typical volume of 5x1x1 m3, this means that 10% error is 750,000 m3 of material that is wasted or goes to landfill: this is approximately 500 Olympic swimming pools every year, and that is Gas networks alone. In the UK as a whole, 1.5 million excavations are carried out each year. Whether it be underground tunnels for utilities or holes for foundation placement a significant proportion of these excavations will require partial if not complete backfilling. To determine how much material has been excavated at a given time and how much will be required for the backfill process the volume of the excavation needs to be estimated. Current methods of estimating these volumes are relatively primitive in comparison to the technology currently available and usually consist of simply multiplying the length by width by height of the excavation estimated ‘by eye’. This project will develop new methodologies to measure this more accurately.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1), and/or a Master's degree in engineering, physical or environmental sciences, or mathematics. Demonstration of experience in the use of point cloud collection using photogrammetric such as structure-from-motion and laser scanning methods would be beneficial.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made on-line through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'Ex3D – a new measuring device for measurements of excavations', as well as Dr Raul Fuentes as your proposed supervisor. In the funding section, please state ‘Civil Engineering Research Excellence Award’ as your sponsor.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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Northern England