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PhD Studentship: Developing Technologies for Whole Building Fire Performance Modelling (Fully Funded by TATA Steel)

Swansea University - Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Swansea
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £20,000 p.a. There will be additional funds available for research expenses.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 2nd June 2020
Closes: 1st August 2020

This scholarship is funded by TATA Steel's Industrial iCASE Award.

Start date: October 2020

Subject areas: Mathematics, Physics or Engineering

Project description: 

Fire safety is a critical aspect of building design and all building materials and products are subject to tightly controlled standards. In common with all other reputable manufacturers, Tata Steel’s construction products are all supplied with a Euroclass classification that confirms their performance in reaction to fire tests. Data from these small-scale tests are used in product fire performance modelling but it is widely acknowledged that this approach has significant limitations when trying to assess the performance of a complete system, such as a whole building. Therefore, this research aims to investigate, via computer modelling, more realistic buildings and fire scenarios in order to gain a better understanding of how buildings perform during fire.

The successful PhD candidate will work closely with Tata Steel to investigate and develop techniques for whole building fire modelling. Since this is a broad and challenging area the successful candidate will have the opportunity to help drive the research into the most appropriate areas. Challenges include: coupling fire modelling techniques with structural modelling techniques, modelling fire propagation and the thermomechanical behaviour of structural and non-structural components, such as beams, columns, purlins and sandwich panels, and reducing the computational cost of running simulations to make these techniques practical for industry. Ultimately, the project will seek to extend current, in-house, product/system modelling capability to whole building fire performance modelling by combining CFD and FEA methodologies and to generate a modelling method/framework that can be adopted to create fully coupled CFD-FEA models for a range of building types.

The successful candidate will benefit from working closely with Tata Steel and the existing cohort of PhD students who belong to the well-established Building Envelope EngD theme at Swansea University. This will give the candidate excellent peer support and the advantage of working at the forefront of innovative buildings development. The candidate will also benefit from working with academics from the Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering who, for decades, have been pioneers in the development of numerical techniques such as the finite element method for computational fluid dynamics.

Eligibility

Academic requirements

Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in Mathematics, Physics or Engineering with evidence of experience working with partial differential equations.

Basic knowledge of either numerical methods, material physics or thermodynamics would be desirable.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/english-language-requirements/

Residency criteria

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

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