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PhD Studentship: Simulation of Human - Built-environment Interaction

University of Bath - Architecture and Civil Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bath
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 8th January 2019
Closes: 30th April 2019

Supervisor name: Dr Erfan Shahabpoor

Email contact:

Civil structures, particularly bridges, footbridges, tall buildings and long-span floors vibrate when exposed to dynamic forces exerted by wind, vehicles and human movement. The human users/occupants are constantly exposed to this vibration. The current design guidelines for assessment of vibration serviceability of structures are quite simplistic and do not consider the occupancy pattern of the structures and the ways that the human occupants are affected by the structural vibration. Estimating the occupancy pattern of the structure (such as walking paths in corridors and rooms, lying, sitting and standing locations, etc.) is essential during the design of the structure to simulate realistically the dynamic effects of humans on structures and to estimate the effects of vibrations on human users/occupants.

This PhD project is intended to develop a statistical/computational model, such as an agent-based model, to simulate the interaction of human occupants with building internal spaces and furniture. An extensive experimental measurement from real-world buildings will be carried out as part of the project and will be used to develop and validate the model.

The PhD researcher will be able to use the state-of-the-art experimental and technical facilities of both the University of Bath and Exeter. The Human-Environment Advanced Dynamics (HED) laboratory of the University of Bath have extensive laboratory and field vibration testing experimental facilities including visual and LIDAR-based movement monitoring systems, actuators, sensors and data acquisition and control systems that are suitable for use in this research project.

The PhD candidate ideally (but not essential) will be familiar with computational modelling and a programming language such as Matlab, preferably with knowledge of crowd simulation.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Erfan Shahabpoor Ardakani (

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 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 up to 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.

Expected start date: 30th September 2019

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