Funded MSc by Research Studentship: Biofouling and Corrosion of Materials Proposed for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Project

Swansea University - Biosciences

*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*

**This scholarship is contingent upon approval of further funding for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project** 

Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

This studentship will investigate marine biofouling and corrosion in association with a world first “pathfinder” project to provide tidal power for the Swansea Bay region: Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay. Biofouling will be expected to be a serious challenge to the development of a tidal lagoon, although there is a paucity of data available for these structures. We know, however, that the increased drag and decreased hydrodynamic efficiency of ship hulls due to marine biofouling is a major concern to the shipping industry. Similarly, marine corrosion affects the offshore oil and gas industry as well as offshore renewable industries such as wind and tidal stream. The hydroturbines and other components of a tidal lagoon will be expected to encounter substantial challenges in terms of biofouling and corrosion.

This project will investigate the biofouling organisms in Swansea Bay which settle on typical materials proposed to be used for the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay project. Frames containing sample panels of the specified materials will be deployed at test sites to determine the dominant fouling organisms and the seasonality of settlement and also to determine corrosion trends. Detailed analysis will investigate changes in surface roughness and levels of corrosion. Laboratory trials will investigate how the predicted flow velocity regime within the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay turbines will affect biofouling settlement by propagules of the dominant foulers identified in the field studies. Laboratory studies will also investigate the suitability of different biofouling and corrosion mitigation methods under a simulation of the expected flow velocity regime.   

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SME’s and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 30 credit award.


Essential Criteria

Academic requirements:

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in marine biology or a related subject. Experience in marine engineering or corrosion will also be advantageous.

Residency criteria:

Candidates should be eligible for UK/EU Fees.

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,358 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

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