The Role of Fabric Anisotropy on Cyclic Ratcheting of Offshore Sands Under Generalised Loading Conditions

Aura Centre for Doctoral Training

PhD scholarships in offshore wind
energy and the environment

The Role of Fabric Anisotropy on Cyclic Ratcheting of Offshore Sands Under Generalised Loading Conditions

Project Description

The use of advanced numerical methods to analyse the performance of offshore wind turbines (OWTs) under environmental loads led recently to improved design methodologies [1] that reduce the construction cost significantly. However, the accurate OWT-monopile-soil interaction modelling is still an ongoing research challenge, mainly due to the lack of a well-established theory for the mechanical response of soils under generalised loading conditions [2].

The aim of the project is the development of a novel constitutive framework that includes the complexity of soil’s microstructure (fabric) and its effect on soil’s mechanical response during generalised cyclic loading. The model will be applied in high-fidelity, 3D, hydro-mechanically coupled FE analysis of OWT-monopile-soil interaction, for a more accurate analysis of the long-term performance of OWTs, that can lead to a more cost-effective design practice.

PG-Dip Year and PhD Research

We are seeking a candidate for this PhD scholarship with the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment; a partnership between the Universities of Durham, Hull, Newcastle and Sheffield. The successful applicant will undertake a PG-Dip training year at the University of Hull before completing their PhD research at Durham University.

Entry requirements

If you have received a First-class Honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in Engineering, Earth Science or Physics, we would like to hear from you.we would like to hear from you.

Academic Supervisors

Dr Alexandros Petalas, Durham University

Prof Will Coombs, Durham University

Dr Marti Lloret-Cabot, Durham University

Please address any enquiries to, do not contact the supervisors directly.


Funding is available for Home students only. The full-time Aura CDT PhD Scholarship includes fees and maintenance (£16,062 per annum, 2022/23 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress. The scholarship is available from September 2022 as a full-time position (part-time study is available). You will join Cohort 4 of the Aura CDT in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary – the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. Initially, you will study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment, followed by a 3-year PhD project based at Durham University.

Applications are open until 6 June 2022. Please see our instructions on How to Apply

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