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PhD Studentship: Behaviour and Design of Thin-walled Metallic Shell Systems

University of Bath - Department Architecture and Civil Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bath
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 maintenance stipend, Home/EU tuition fees, training support fee of £1,000 per annum for up to 3.5 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th January 2019
Closes: 30th April 2019

Supervisor name: Dr Jie Wang

Email contact:

Wind energy is currently representing the fastest growth area of all renewables, particularly in the UK. The height of the wind turbine towers is continuously increasing to cope with the growing energy demands and engineers need to understand the possible failure mechanisms in these slender structures. Being the mostly employed form of wind-turbine support towers, metallic cylindrical shells in current design practice receive surprisingly simplistic treatment, varying between excessive conservatism and potentially serious unconservatism. This is mainly due to the widespread lack of understanding of the nonlinear phenomena that govern their behaviour.

In this project, the applicant is expected to carry out a numerical study of wind-turbine support towers with a various range of geometries and realistic imperfection forms, in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of the buckling behaviour of such structures. Experimental study employing scaled models is going to be conducted at the late stage of the project. The obtained numerical and experimental results will be used to develop codified design rules on the basis of the newly proposed ‘Reference Resistance Design’ framework, contributing towards the on-going improvement of the worldwide state-of-the-art European design rules for metal shells – EN 1993-1-6.

The research programme will address a significant gap in current fundamental knowledge in nonlinear structural mechanics and the outcomes will be transferrable to other disciplines including aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Jie Wang (

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture & Civil Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Funding: Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

Application criteria: The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or equivalent). English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

Application Deadline: This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of November 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019 and April 2019.  A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

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