Key Information

This scholarship is funded by EPSRC and ARUP Ltd.

Start date: October 2019

Closing date: 31 August 2019

Project description:

The  rapid growth and development of concrete admixtures and their increasing use in ready mix concrete has fundamentally changed the design of tremie concrete. Improvements have been made to concrete workability during placement, stability during setting and long durability. Costs savings have been made by reducing the cement content. However, the dependence on powerful chemicals makes the rheology of concrete ever more sensitive to its composition, mixing and workmanship. This has resulted in many construction problems on site. The mismatch between tremie concrete mix design, foundation design and the associated deep foundation practice raises a paramount challenge to the civil engineering and construction industries.

To address these critical issues, the European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) and the US Deep Foundation Institute (DFI) jointly released in June 2018 the EFFC/DFI Guide to Tremie Concrete for Deep Foundations. Arup was an active member of the EFFC/DFI Task Group and made major contributions to the delivery of the Guide.

This CASE PhD research project will build on the initial numerical modelling undertaken for the EFFC/DFI Tremie Concrete Guide, which left unanswered questions, to include the interface layer and interaction with the support fluid. It will input into the upgrading of specifications for reinforcement spacing, laps, and cover requirements. It will help to develop concrete mix designs that are more resistant to bleed and support fluids that are more stable.

Project supervisors: Professor Chenfeng Li

Available resources/facilities: High performance computing and state-of-the-art concrete lab facilities


Candidates should have, or be expected to gain, a first or upper second class honours degree (or its equivalent) in civil engineering or a relevant discipline (structural mechanics, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, finite element, computational fluid dynamics). A master’s degree is an advantage.

Funding: This scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete and submit the following documents to Professor Chenfeng Li (c.f.li@swansea.ac.uk):

College of Engineering PGR Scholarship Application

Two-page CV

Degree certificates and transcripts

Cover letter to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.

Two referees (academic or previous employer) letters of recommendation

For enquiries, please contact Professor Chenfeng Li (c.f.li@swansea.ac.uk / +44 (0)1792 602256).

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