PhD Topic: A non-destructive verification tool for imaging the 3D shape of grout injected into near surface soils
This PhD project aims to develop a non-destructive verification tool for imaging the 3D shape of grout injected into near surface soils. Over the past 10 years, researchers at Strathclyde, in partnership with the Construction Company, BAM Nuttall, have been developing new grouting technologies for in-situ ground improvement and for repair of existing infrastructure. Key to successful commercialisation of these new grouting technologies is maintaining industrial confidence. Whilst in-situ injection strategies are highly attractive, both financially and environmentally, the physical extent of treated soil is extremely difficult to establish, making it hard to demonstrate success. An ideal solution to this issue would be to develop a tool that can detect the 3D shape of the grouted soil volume within the subsurface. At present, no commercial technology is available that can achieve this.
The aim of this PhD will be to develop a prototype non-invasive subsurface grout detection and imaging system. Since grouting will change both the electrical properties of the soil and its mechanical properties the project will focus on combining two existing geophysical techniques: Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and small-scale microseismic monitoring. Fieldwork will be conducted in Sydney, Australia, and the PhD student will have the opportunity to travel to, and collaborate with, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, ANSTO. The PhD will be supervised by Prof Becky Lunn and Dr Stella Pytharouli at the University of Strathclyde and Dr Oliver Kuras at the British Geological Survey. During the PhD, the student will also be seconded both to Dr Kuras’ laboratory at BGS Keyworth to gain skills in ERT, and to BAM Nuttall’s to gain valuable industrial experience. Travel and subsistence for these secondments will be covered.
This opportunity is open to Home applicants, who meet the required University of Strathclyde eligibility criteria. In particular the applicant must not have been awarded a previous Doctoral Degree. In addition to the above, the applicant will hold, or be in the process of obtaining, a Batchelor’s or integrated Master’s degree or equivalent in Engineering, Earth Sciences, Physics, Geophysics or another discipline related to the proposed research.
The award duration is 42 months and will cover home fees and provide a stipend of £14,777 per annum.
For more information or to apply for the position, please contact