Research Masters (MEngSc) in Geotechnical Engineering / at UCD in collaboration with ARUP and TII

Project title: Long term geotechnical monitoring and deterioration modelling of earthwork slopes

Main supervisor: Mike Long (UCD),

Project advisors / co-supervisors: Shane Donohue (UCD), Eugene O' Brien (UCD), Ronan Travers (ARUP) and Miles Friedman (Transport Infrastructure Ireland)

Project description: TII (and other similar agencies) face significant challenges with respect to long term maintenance of highway networks. Climate change effects and changing rainfall patterns are key issues at play. In this project the focus is on cuttings and embankments. Similar work has been carried out in other countries (e.g. iSMART and ACHILLES in the UK) but Irish soils significantly are different so fresh and novel research is warranted. In this project, a cutting and an embankment on the TII Motorway network will be selected. Both sites will be subjected to detailed ground investigation and an array of monitoring instruments will be installed. A suite of advanced laboratory tests will be carried out at UCD on the resulting samples. The instrumentation will include movement monitoring by satellite. A numerical model will be developed to simulate the deterioration processes observed in the monitoring. Ultimately the project seeks to deepen an understanding of the mechanisms at play and strives to assess appropriate investigation methods, survey methods and a modelling approach to assess long term deterioration of all embankments and cuttings in the TII Motorway network.

Position Description: This is an unique opportunity for a student to work across the three major areas of academia, industry and a national governance body. This two-year full-time Master's by research (MEngSc) position is funded through TII's Open Research Call for 2021. The successful candidate will be registered in the School of Civil Engineering University College Dublin, starting as soon as possible in early Spring 2022. The Master's stipend is €18,500 per annum together with a contribution to EU fees of €7,300 per annum. The candidate will also be required to contribute up to 150 hours per annum demonstrating undergraduate laboratory classes and / or tutorials.

Candidate Experience: The candidate should have a minimum 2.1 in an honours Bachelor's degree in Engineering Geology, Geology, Geophysics or Civil Engineering, or an equivalent standard from an overseas university. Some experience in ground investigation and numerical modelling methods and for civil engineering works and in particular for glacial soils would be an advantage.

Application: Please e-mail a CV (max. 2 pages) and a cover letter outlining your experience and motivation to Assoc. Prof. Mike Long ( by 5pm January 21st 2022.

posted: 15 December 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.