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PhD Studentships

EPSRC/NPL Industrial Case PhD Studentship: Bridge Structural Health Monitoring - deriving value from measurement

A fully-funded PhD studentship in Bridge Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) is available within the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge ( in association with the Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology and the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) ( and the National Physical Laboratory  (NPL).  Please note that this link opens in a new window  .

This studentship offers the opportunity for a highly motivated individual with a strong academic background to contribute to the revolution currently taking place in the construction industry in relation to smart sensor technology which can monitor the performance of our critical infrastructure.

The successful candidate will work closely with other PhD students and post-doctoral researchers in the Laing O'Rourke Centre and the Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, which is a world leading centre of excellence in smart sensor technology and data management, and with researchers at NPL. The student will also have opportunities to work with industry partners including bridge asset owners, consultants and contractors.

The PhD student will have the opportunity to examine many available metrology techniques previously trialled on a test-bed bridge at NPL, and at other bridges monitored by Cambridge University researchers. These techniques include fibre optic sensors, wireless sensor networks, MEMS sensors, advanced satellite positioning and computer vision techniques.

The goal of the project is to derive a strategy for interpreting data derived using these techniques to provide useful information and value to asset owners. Some potential areas for study include:

  • Dynamic and quasi-static monitoring of bridges
  • Loading (vehicle live loads, wind, temperature)
  • Measurement of structural response (strains, displacements)
  • Advanced mathematical modelling
  • Signal processing and data interpretation

Qualifications: Applicants should have a First or Upper Second Class degree from a UK University or equivalent standard from an overseas University. Competition is highly competitive and successful applicants are likely to have high academic achievements. Applicants may have a Civil Engineering background although students from cognate engineering or scientific fields will be considered. Knowledge of bridge and/or structural engineering would be advantageous but is not a pre-requisite.

Eligibility: UK citizens or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for the last 3 years are eligible to apply.

Funding: Full funding covering Maintenance, University and College fees and an allowance for travel, computing and equipment is provided for a period of up to 3.5 years. The stipend currently paid by EPSRC is £14,057 per annum (tax free) with an additional top-up of £3,000 per annum from the industrial sponsor.

Start date: Beginning of October 2015 for the start of the University academic year

Enquiries: Informal enquiries about this post may be addressed to Professor Campbell Middleton (email:; Tel: +44(0)1223 332814).

Application deadline: The deadline for applications is 30th June 2015 but applications are processed as they arrive, so early application is encouraged.

 Applications should be made on-line via the Cambridge Graduate Admissions Office before the deadline: