PhD in Engineering Geophysics at UCD

Project title: The use of geophysical properties for predicting climate related deterioration of geotechnical infrastructure

Principal Investigator: Shane Donohue (University College Dublin)

Project description: The world's major transportation arteries are supported by a vast network of earthworks (e.g. embankments/cuttings) that require sustainable cost-effective management, while maintaining an appropriate service level to meet social, economic and environmental needs. Recent extreme weather has highlighted the vulnerability of this geotechnical infrastructure, with the resulting failures severely impacting users, operators, and the wider economy. As climate variations are projected to become more extreme, climate resilient infrastructure is becoming an increasingly important international priority. It is therefore crucial that appropriate approaches for assessing earthwork condition are developed so that repair work can be better targeted, and failures avoided.

This project will investigate the use of seismic geophysical properties as proxies for the representation of key geotechnical properties, in order to support preventative earthwork maintenance practices. The overall aim of the project, which is predominantly laboratory based, is to develop a robust geophysical means of characterising the temporal and spatial condition of geotechnical infrastructure.

Position Description: This four-year full-time PhD research position is funded by University College Dublin. In addition to the student stipend, EU fees will be covered by the University.

Candidate Experience: The candidate should have a minimum 2.1 in an honours Bachelor's or Master's degree in Geophysics, or a closely related discipline.

Application: Please e-mail a CV (max. 2 pages) and a cover letter (max. 1 page) outlining your experience and motivation to Assoc. Prof. Shane Donohue ( The deadline for applications is the 31st July 2019 at 17.00. Intended start date is 1st September 2019.

posted: 19 June 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.