Applications are invited for 2 PhD students to be based within the Section of Geo-
Engineering, to work on the SOFTTOP research project funded by the Dutch Organisation for Research NWO, as part of the DeepNL research initiative. The study investigates how non-linearity and degradation of deltaic laminated sands and organic clays affect the dynamic response of soil layers, under the typical repeated but short duration loads from induced earthquakes. The study is based on experimental testing and numerical modelling, and includes a multiscale analysis of spatial variations in the subsoil. The aim of the project is to develop advanced models able to lead to more accurate predictions of deformations at the ground surface.
Faculty/department Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Level Master degree
Maximum employment 38-40 hours per week (1 FTE)
Duration of contract 4 years
Salary scale €2325 to €2972 per month gross
PhD 1 will be responsible for conducting and analysing laboratory tests on laminated
sands under cyclic loading, for the development and/or implementation of appropriate
models of soil behaviour, and for the elaboration of laboratory data using numerical
modelling. The research will include the validation of models using field data from the
Groningen region of the Netherlands and from New Zealand.
PhD 2 is expected to contribute to the development of a new testing apparatus equipped with advanced sensors, specifically aimed at studying the dynamic response of organic soils, to devise optimal testing protocols, and to perform an experimental study of the dynamic response of these soils in view of their modelling. The work involves innovative design of experimental testing approaches, and requires a thorough understanding of experimental methods as well as of coupled soil behaviour under dynamic loads. The successful candidates will be part of a team supported by 4 academic members of staff and 1 Postdoc, who will be engaged in the laboratory and numerical developments.