PhD Studentship on the Computer Game Programming of Asphalt Roads

University of Nottingham - Engineering

Location: University Park

Applications are invited for the above post at the University of Nottingham which will be working on an industrial research project within the Nottingham Transportation Engineering Centre.

Asphalt mixture is the most popular material used to build road surfaces. Every year, enough asphalt is produced in Europe to pave twice an area of the size of Luxembourg and its related costs are in the order of thousands of millions of Euros. Today, road materials are still designed by the trial-and-error method, which involves manufacturing and testing several combinations of aggregates and bitumen types until the required results are met. This is an expensive process that hinders the development of novel types of road surfaces, such as those that can harvest energy, self-heal, or are more durable. 

However, little consideration has been given to using computational methods to save time in the asphalt roads design process.

In this project, the successful candidate will use a computer game engine to simulate the mixing and compaction of asphalt roads and validate the results with laboratory experiments. Specifically, the computational section of the project will involve predicting the movement of computationally designed stones during the production of road materials. In the experimental part, the candidate will design new types of laboratory experiments to compare the materials produced in a virtual environment to those from asphalt mixture produced in the laboratory or in the road. The candidate will work as a member of an enthusiastic team, in one of the biggest road laboratories in Europe, and has frequent interaction with industry.

We are looking for a creative person that likes computer games and will enjoy programming them. Some familiarity with computer programming is required, especially on Matlab, C++, or C#, at least at a beginner level. Examples of degrees that would be appropriate for this position are mechanical, civil or computational engineers, although any enthusiastic candidate with a good honours degree and gaming design experience will succeed in this role. 

This position is available immediately and applications will be considered until the position is filled. Please direct informal enquiries to Dr. Alvaro Garcia, Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.


  • Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for candidates having UK or EU fee status
  • Candidates must possess, or expect to obtain, a 2:1 degree in Engineering, Physics or Science related discipline. Students that would like to design computer games are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Please direct informal enquiries to Dr. Alvaro Garcia, with a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcript. Please note applications without an academic transcript will not be considered.

Closing date 31th March 2017 unless filled earlier.

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Midlands of England