MSc Research Studentships (1 year)

Stipend: 14,057


Project 1: Utilising crushed dolerite columns to stabilise unstable substrates using microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP): coupling ground improvement and climate mitigation - laboratory approach
(hosted at Abertay University)

Tayside Centre for Geotechnical Engineering in Natural Environments (Tay-GENE) is an exciting joint initiative between Abertay University (AU) and University of Dundee (UoD), funded by the Norman Fraser Design Trust. The Centre aims to link researchers and facilities at the Universities on Tayside to study the negative impacts caused by climate change on managed non-urban land, particularly for sloping ground, and develop novel adaptation strategies. This is important for Scotland in terms of:

  • supporting the forestry/timber industry;
  • supporting energy and transport infrastructure (e.g. onshore wind farms, roads, rail);
  • protecting natural heritage.

Tay-GENE is fully-funding a total of three funded MSc studentships (12 months) providing a stipend of 14,057, with tuition fees paid up to 4036 to fully cover the tuition fees for students for Home/EU applicants. Two studentships will be based at Abertay University and one studentship will be based at the University of Dundee.

This advert relates to Project 1, hosted by Abertay University with co-supervision from the University of Dundee. Civil Engineering at Abertay University is ranked 15th out of 52 in the UK (Guardian 2017 League Tables) with half of the research rated internationally excellent or world-leading in the 2014 National Research Excellence Framework attracting grant income from EPSRC, EU (FP6 and Interreg), AHRC, MWH Global, Scottish and English local Authorities, Technology Strategy Board (KTP's), Centre for Expertise for Waters (CREW), Catchment PLC, United Kingdom Water Industry Research Ltd (UKWIR) and Norman Fraser Design Trust.

Project 1 description: Utilising crushed dolerite columns to stabilise unstable substrates using microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP): coupling ground improvement and climate mitigation - laboratory approach

This project will merge the discipline of geotechnical engineering and microbiology in order to address one of the oldest and most important concerns for geotechnical engineers, which is unstable substrate stabilisation. Crushed dolerite columns will be constructed in unstable substrates in laboratory to provide a source of calcium required for microbially induced calcite precipitation and also act as reinforcement. Specific aims include (i) introducing an innovative technique to stabilise unstable substrates providing carbon sequestration; (ii) monitoring the spatial distribution and time-dependent geotechnical properties of the substrate between the columns in laboratory after stabilisation using MICP; and (iii) proposing the best distribution of crushed dolerite columns across the unstable substrates giving highest geotechnical improvement and CO2 sequestration. Improvement resulting from calcite precipitation and high internal friction angle of crushed dolerite represents an environmentally-friendly, time-efficient and cost-effective stabilisation technique.

Supervisory team: Dr Ehsan Jorat; Dr Cornelia Doerich-Stavridis; Prof Carl Schaschke

Entry requirements:

Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a first class or upper second-class honours degree in a relevant discipline (Civil Engineering/ Geotechnical Engineering/ Engineering Geology). Experience in geotechnical laboratory works would be advantageous. The scholarship only covers candidates from UK/EU countries.

For applicants who are non-native speakers of English, the University requires IELTS of 6.5 (with no band less than 6.0 in the written component and no less than 5.5 in any other component) or an equivalent qualification accepted by the UKVI.

The Studentship is available to start in January 2017 for a period up to 1 year.

How to apply:

To apply on-line please email your C.V. and a cover letter expressing your interest to Dr Ehsan Jorat at e.jorat@abertay.ac.uk. Deadline for the applications is 20 December 2016.

Abertay University is committed to Equal Opportunities.

posted: 23 November 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.