Post Doctoral Research Associate

Durham University - School of Engineering & Computing Sciences

Location: Durham City/South Africa

Contract Type: Full time, Fixed Term Until end of April 2020

Closing Date: 24 August 2017 Midday                              


Outstanding applicants are sought for the post of Research Associate, to be employed by the Department of Engineering at Durham University, who will carry out high-quality research, involving field monitoring and numerical modelling, in South Africa in association with University of Pretoria. The post is funded by a major EPSRC Global Challenge Research Fund grant EP/P029671/1 entitled “Sustainability and Resilience of Transportation Infrastructure in African Countries”, which is a collaborative project led by Durham University, that involves Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Ghana , University of Pretoria South Africa and Nyaoro & Associates Tanzania . The project as a whole will investigate i the use of sustainable locally occurring construction materials in road construction and ii the impacts of climate change on transportation infrastructure.

The focus of this appointment will be to study climate change impacts on a railway line under investigation In South Africa and the wider implications for other African Countries. This will involve the following tasks:

  • Develop a series of climate scenarios to represent current and future weather patterns for the three countries Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania .
  • Perform field monitoring of suction and water content of the railway infrastructure from Limpopo and Mpumalanga to Richards Bay port.
  • Validate a thermo-mechanical numerical model by replicating the field observations.
  • Apply the climate scenarios in the numerical analyses to assess the likely future effects of climate change.

Close collaboration with the other project partners will be essential for developing a complete picture of climate responses on road and rail construction projects, bringing together data from different climatic zones in Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania.

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