Postgraduate Research Opportunity: The Need for Speed – Developing Faster High Speed Rail

University of Leeds

  • Funded PhD project: UK and EU
  • Value: Funding covers the cost of fees at £4,250 and provides a maintenance of £14,553 for the 2017/18 academic year. Funding duration is 3.5 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.
  • Number of awards: 1
  • Deadline: 28/01/2018
  • Supervisors: Contact Dr David Connolly to discuss this project further informally.
Project description

A global explosion in high speed rail investment has created a huge demand for railway engineers and facilitated increases in train speeds, with a Japanese train recently setting a new world record of 603 km/h. These technological advances have moved train velocities into the same realm as those encountered by commercial aircraft. Increased train speeds mean that high speed rail is superseding air travel in many parts of the world.

However, a challenge with higher speed rail is that when trains approach the natural velocity of the track support, large vibrations are generated. These vibrations are similar to the, ‘sonic boom’ caused by super-sonic jets passing through the sound barrier, and cause the train and track to shake (in a similar way to an earthquake) which is a safety concern.

The aim of this project is to examine both train and track behaviour and investigate new technologies that allow higher speeds to be achieved. To do so, you will develop cutting-edge numerical models using Matlab. The project is open to holders of numerically related degrees (e.g. Mechanical/Electrical/Civil Engineering, Maths, Physics…etc). Ideally, the successful candidate will have knowledge of matlab and experience of numerical techniques. Depending upon the candidates background the project can be tailored towards this. The project start date is reasonably flexible, however must commence before October 2018. Please specify a suggested date in your application. 

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 a relevant engineering or science degree.

If English is not the applicant’s first language, they must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements:

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the 'The Need for Speed – Developing Faster High Speed Rail’ as well as Professor Peter Woodward as your proposed supervisor.

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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