Epsrc Icase Studentship with Arup Seismic Response of Monopiles in Liquefiable Soils

University of Cambridge is offering PhD position in mechanical engineering. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2020.

Offshore wind (OW) plays an important role in the transition to low carbon energy supply. The UK is aiming to provide a third of all electricity using OW energy by 2030 (30 GW by 2030). Whilst the European OW market is becoming mature, European OW developers are now using their technical expertise to develop OW farms in seismically active zones such as East Asia. The challenge in this expansion is the need to design robust foundations to withstand larger earthquake loads and remain stable in liquefiable soils.

To date, monopiles are by far the most popular foundation option due to their relatively simple construction and installation. These monopiles support the massive OW turbines on combination with the earthquake-induced cyclic loads and possibly liquefaction-induced ground deformations. The current guidelines and methods for the assessing cyclic loading of large diameter monopiles are lacking. There is great potential to lower OW foundation costs by investing in robust cyclic assessment methodologies.

The project will aim to address this research gap by proposing guidelines for the design of Offshore wind foundations subjected to earthquake-induced cyclic loading. The work will involve experimental testing and numerical modelling. The student will gain experience in a broad range of areas including centrifuge testing and numerical methods adapted for the design of offshore wind foundations.

The project will be developed in close collaboration with Arup, including a period of the PhD spent within their geotechnical team.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree in an Engineering, preferably Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. A good knowledge or experience of mechanics, soil mechanics and foundation design is desirable (knowledge in laboratory testing and 3D FE modelling is also an advantage).

EPSRC iCASE studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for UK students or provide fees only for EU students from outside the UK, subject to eligibility requirements. Further details about eligibility can be found at:

To apply for this studentship, please send To apply for this studentship, please send your two page CV, a transcript and a cover letter to Dr. Christelle Abadie at, with subject “Seismic – PhD”, to arrive no later than midnight on 31 of January 2020. Queries about the post should be addressed to the same email address.

Please note that any offer of funding will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student. Candidates will need to apply separately for admission through the University’s Graduate Admissions application portal; this can be done before or after applying for this funding opportunity. Note that there is a 65 fee for PhD applications. The applicant portal can be accessed via: The final deadline for PhD applications is 30 June 2020, although it is advisable to apply earlier than this.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.


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