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PhD Studentship – Tsunami Induced Scour: Development of a Prediction tool for Engineers

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LSBU is a modern university with a mission to transform lives, communities, businesses and society through applied education and insight. We strive to influence the wider world and to impact the society around us positively. LSBU’s PhD Scholarships are central to this vision.

Project Description: Tsunami are one of the deadliest coastal hazards. Tsunami-induced sediment scour at structure foundations is a major cause of structural failure during tsunami inundation events. Current engineering knowledge of the scour process is disparate and incomplete. This is partly due to the devastation caused by these waves, rendering field surveys of limited use and that the physical process of the scour is highly complex. This complexity means that numerical models are challenging to set up and run efficiently, and physical models require large and specialised facilities to run. This project will examine tsunami scours’ physical process and parameter sensitivity at coastal structures. It will develop a design tool for practising engineers to estimate the scour depth expected from a tsunami event. This will be achieved by combining the analysis of an extensive data set of tsunami scours taken in a unique tsunami modelling laboratory and developing a numerical model to extend the data. The work will analyse an extensive laboratory data set of tsunami scours to illuminate the physical processes and influencing parameters. From this, a numerical simulation will be developed and validated using the open-source CFD software OpenFOAM. The numerical model will then extend the laboratory data to conduct a comprehensive parametric study of tsunami scour. A regression analysis will be performed to isolate the influencing parameters and develop a predictor equation.

Applicants are invited for a full-time three-year PhD studentship (UK Students Only) in the School of the Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University (LSBU) to begin no later than 5th January 2024. We seek an exceptional and enthusiastic person to join our research team in the School of the Built Environment and Architecture to investigate tsunami-induced scour at coastal structures.

Duration of Scholarship: 3 years full-time in the School of Built Environment and Architecture at London South Bank University. The successful candidate must be ready to enrol in January 2024 and is expected to attend full-time for three years with thesis submission in January 2027 and viva, corrections and awards completed before Dec 2027.

Supervision Team: The student will be supervised by Dr. David McGovern (, Dr. Timothy Hong ( and Prof. Yunting Ge (

Eligibility: Applicants require a Bachelors (2:1 or better) or master’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. This may include, but is not limited to, mechanical engineering, ocean and coastal engineering, physics, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Mathematics.

Application Process: Please send your CV and personal statement (including motivations for studying at the doctoral level, interest and experience in this subject area, research skills and experience, and suggestions for how an element of the proposed PhD could be explored) via email to Dr. David McGovern at [email protected].

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted with an invitation to attend an interview during the week commencing 4th December 2023. The successful candidate will be selected for the award following the University’s postgraduate admissions requirements and must be eligible under the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997.

Click Here to Apply For The Job



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