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Research Studentship in Behaviour Of Perforated Stainless Steel Plated Structures

University of Oxford - Department of Engineering Science

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: EU Students, International Students, Self-funded Students, UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 27th September 2021
Closes: 3rd December 2021
Reference: 22ENGCI_BR

Research Studentship in Behaviour Of Perforated Stainless Steel Plated Structures 

3.5-year D.Phil. studentship 

Supervisors: Prof Barbara Rossi, Prof Zhong You 

Over the past two decades, numerous experiments have been conducted on stainless steel components, made of different grades, looking at compression (buckling), bending (lateral-torsional buckling) or the combination of both as well as shear (shear buckling) or concentrated loading (web crippling). The results of those experiments are thoroughly described in the literature. Two main methods, well accepted by the scientific community, have also been developed to accurately design stainless steel structures: the Direct Strength Method (focusing on thin-walled sections and currently in the American code for steel components) and the Continuous Strength Method, extensively developed by the Imperial College London. There however remain today a number of issues that need solving in order to be able to efficiently design and rationally use stainless steel material’s capacity in structures.

One of these important problems is the behaviour of perforated architectural plated structures used in façades. 

The most important problem is undeniably the buckling of such plates and how to accurately predict their critical failure load, depending on the pattern of perforations (regular or random) and their locations. The study will include experiments on perforated stainless steel plates in compression where deformations will be recorded using Digital Image Correlation. The results of these experiments will then be used to validate a geometrically nonlinear finite element model allowing to then study more configurations and patterns of perforations under different kind of loading encountered in reality. The research therefore involves both experimental and numerical works.


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership and is open to Home students (full award – home fees plus stipend). Full details of the eligibility requirements can be found on the UK Research and Innovation website.

Award Value

Course fees are covered at 100% of the the level set for Home students (c. £8620 p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £15609 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years. 

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • 1st or high 2:1 honours degree in Engineering, civil engineering or a relevant discipline
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills
  • Ability to program in Matlab and/or Python and/or other programming languages
  • Experience in computational methods and the development of finite element models; 

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience in structural engineering research demonstrated by a publication at an international conference or an international journal
  • Practical experience in structural engineering
  • Experience in experimental research or the competence to do so 

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Rossi (

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 22ENGCI_BR in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline: noon on 3 December 2021

Start date: October 2022

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