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PhD Studentship: Performance-Based Optimization of Novel Lightweight Steel Frame Systems for Resilient Modular Constructions

Loughborough University - Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Fully funded
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th January 2024
Closes: 25th February 2024
Reference: ABCE24/RI2
 

In response to recent economic and environmental challenges, engineers are compelled to drive more efficient, resilient and sustainable construction solutions. Cold-Formed Steel (CFS) emerges as a promising alternative to traditional hot-rolled steel, offering a higher strength-to-weight ratio, reduced embodied carbon, and greater flexibility in terms of cross-sectional profiles and sizes that can lead to more efficient design solutions with minimized material redundancy.

However, CFS systems currently have crucial limitations that should be addressed before they can be widely used in modern construction: 1) Low strength and ductility which limits their performance in tall buildings and under extreme loading events; 2) No viable method for optimum design of complex CFS structural systems, capable of taking into account both manufacturing and construction constraints; 3) Their extensive reliance on fixed load-bearing walls limits space planning and future alterations.

The main aim of this PhD research is to develop a data-driven performance-based optimization framework to address the challenging optimization problems associated with CFS elements and complex CFS structural systems by considering manufacturing and construction constraints. The framework will be used to develop a new generation of high-performance dual wall-frame CFS systems to address the above-mentioned limitations of typical CFS structures.

The PhD candidate will gain distinctive expertise in Lightweight Modular Steel Structures within a dynamic, collaborative team, under the supervision of Dr Mohammad Mojtabaei and in collaboration with UK steel industries. We are seeking an enthusiastic student with a passion for innovative solutions in Structural Engineering, Thin-Walled Structures, Artificial Intelligence and Optimization.

This project is one of five PhDs in Resilient Infrastructure. The successful candidate will be part of a growing community of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers and academics who are extending the boundaries of knowledge and delivering transformative solutions to real-world problems. The other projects in Resilient Infrastructure are

  • Progressive collapse analysis of steel structures
  • Climate change-resilient geotechnical infrastructure
  • Assessment of moisture-induced damage effects in timber buildings
  • Impact of recycling and coating on nanoplastic emission from textile products

Additional Funding Information

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

The School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering's studentship competition offers the chance for UK and International applicants who are interested in undertaking a PhD to have their full-time studies paid for.

The studentship is for 3 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £18,622 per annum (2023/24 rate) for the duration of the studentship plus university tuition fees.

Studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to advertised projects starting with the reference 'ABCE24'.

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