3D printed smart repairs for civil structures (Supervisor: Dr Marcus Perry)
Maintenance is the source of a growing problem for the operators of civil infrastructure, as manual inspections and repairs can be expensive, time-consuming and fallible. Part of the solution to this problem is improved sensing, to make structures “smarter” so that they can provide accurate, real-time and remote information on their health or damage state. Sensing alone, however, does not tackle the root causes of degradation, so there should also be strategies to repair and augment structures, ideally using cost-cutting, automated technologies.Our team’s goal is to unify and automate these two distinct approaches of civil monitoring and civil maintenance. To support this goal, this PhD’s aim is to develop 3D printed smart repairs for concrete and steel structures. The objectives are to:1)Repair and Protect: Develop a fused deposition modelling process for adhesive binders which can restore and maintain a concrete or steel structure’s integrity.2)Sense: Develop printable, electrically-conductive binders which, once cured, can be used as remote sensor patches for strain and temperature. 3)Augment: Upscale the technology from a 3D printer so that it can be applied, using robotics, to augment existing structures, so that they can withstand evolving hazards and expectations.This PhD provides a unique opportunity to tackle a real industry problem using exciting new technology, all while gaining multidisciplinary training in manufacture, sensing, electronics, robotics and structural health monitoring. The work will be conducted collaboratively between the Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Electronic & Electrical Engineering.
Successful candidates should:- have (or expect) a distinction pass at Master’s level, or a first class BEng/BSc Honours degree, or equivalent, in an Engineering or Physical Sciences subject;- be available to start in October 2017;- be comfortable working across disciplines in a practical lab environment.
Experience of 3D printing, practical chemistry, development environments (e.g. LabVIEW), and programming are all advantageous but not essential.
The funding covers UK/EU student tuition fees and stipend in line with University rates (£14,653 per year)
Hours: Full Time
Start Date and Duration: October 2017, for 3 years (36 months).
Application closing date: 16 July 2017. Prompt application is advised, as position is only available until a suitable candidate is found.
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