PhD Studentship: Potential of Blockchain Technology to Progress Construction Materials' Traceability

Loughborough University

Start date for studentship: 1 October 2018

Interview date: tbc

Supervisors:

Primary supervisor: Dr Mohamed Osmani

Secondary supervisor: Dr Sergio Cavalaro, Mr Ian Herbert (School of Business & Economics)

Intro:

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the School was ranked first for research environment in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning, with 95% of research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ for its influence on society, the economy and policy. The School boasts world class facilities, with £1.4m recently invested in the 3,000m2 laboratory facilities and a £1.24m High Performance Computing facility – one of the UK’s fastest clusters.

A key part of the School’s ethos is the extensive links with industry. Many research projects are sponsored and applied by organisations in the civil engineering, construction and transport sectors, and Loughborough graduates are extremely sought after by industry and commerce world-wide.

Project Detail:

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship on “Potential of Blockchain Technology (BCT) to progress construction materials’ traceability”. One of our existing PhD projects, co-funded and co-supervised by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) Trust, focuses on traceability in construction, and there is growing interest in being able to track and trace products and the information about them through global, complex supply-chains. Yet the literature on traceability is varied, imprecise and remarkably confused. Although BCT is still in its technological infancy, it is rapidly being developed into mature applications in different sectors. A study by BRE Trust identified potential for BCT in digital material passports, smart contracts, and resourcing and connected systems.

The candidate will evaluate the viability of BCT applications in the built environment sector to drive materials’ traceability advancements and promote the transformation to a circular economy. The research aims to address the limitations of current material traceability approaches by assessing the challenges and opportunities of BCT to improve the traceability and reliability of material information along the supply chain. The research is supported by the BRE and will involve collaboration in joint academic/industry research projects.

Find out more:

www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/abce/pg-research/

Entry requirements:

Students will normally need to hold, or expect to gain, at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant scientific or engineering discipline. A relevant master’s degree and/or relevant employment experience will be an advantage. A strong interest or/and experience in responsible sourcing, material resource efficiency, circular economy and blockchain technology would be desirable.

Funding information:

The studentship is for three years and will start in October 2018. The studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,777 (rising annually in line with Research Council recommendations) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to UK/EU applicants.

Contact details:

For information about the research project, please contact:

Name: Dr Mohamed Osmani

Email address: M.Osmani@lboro.ac.uk

Telephone number: (01509) 228 155

For information about the application process, please contact:

Name: Mr Berkeley Young

Email address: b.k.d.young@lboro.ac.uk

Telephone number: (01509) 222 611

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/research-applications/. Under programme name, please select Civil and Building Engineering (Built Environment).

Please quote reference number ABCE18/MO.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Midlands of England