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Postgraduate Research 2022

Civil Engineering

School of Natural and Built Environment | PhD
Entry Year
Academic Year 2022/23
Entry Requirements
2.1

Overview

The research centre will address the topical grand challenges in civil engineering field, building on existing and developing new international collaborations. Financial support to meet these challenges will be acquired through both internal University initiatives (for enhanced infrastructure and facilities) and external funding from government grants, charities and direct industrial support.

Research will address the grand challenges of energy, carbon, clean water, infrastructure; exploring extremes and defining new limits. Key research areas include:

Marine renewable energy
Groundwater and environmental systems
Geotechnics
Intelligent infrastructure and high performance structures
Energy efficient materials

Mode of study / duration

Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).

Civil Engineering Highlights
Global Opportunities
  • Civil Engineering sits within two trans-disciplinary clusters, bringing together researchers from spatial planning, architecture, geography, paleoecology and civil engineering to tackle some of the world's most pressing urban and environmental challenges.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/NBE/Research/
Industry Links
  • Civil Engineering is led by a Head of Discipline supported by team leaders with responsibility for maintaining excellence in its research groups. One of these, the Intelligent and Sustainable Infrastructure Group (ISIG - including low carbon structural materials) has several joint projects with international Centres of Excellence. Further information about our research groups can be found on the School website.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/NBE/Disciplines/civil-and-structural-engineering/
World Class Facilities
  • The School of Natural and Built Environment has a range of state-of-the-art facilities to support our outstanding students and staff conducting leading-edge research and teaching. These include a heavy structures laboratory, rheology laboratory, the Belfast Wave Flume and the Portaferry coastal wave basin.
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/NBE/Research/facilities-infrastructure/
Student Experience
  • Postgraduates form an intrinsic part of our research community and are actively involved in the School's cross-disciplinary Research Groups, enabling the creation of synergies in areas such as sustainability, infrastructure, culture, design and heritage. The School is engaged with major research themes such as urbanism, community, heritage, population and climate change which contributes to the development of policy and practice both locally and globally. Visit our School website and read about the exciting research being undertaken by our current PhD students:
    https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/NBE/Study/PostgraduateResearch/
Key Facts

Civil Engineering at Queens is in the Top 200 (out of 300) in the World (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2020).

  • As a Russell Group university and ranked No. 19 in the Guardian League tables (2018), Queen’s is one of the best places in the UK to study Civil Engineering.

Course content

Research Information

Associated Research
The dynamic nature of this research has been key to the CERC's success in attracting significant funding from UK research councils, government departments and agencies. CERC generated £11.5m in external research income during the last Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) 5-year period.
The Civil Engineering Research Centre (CERC) is a leading international, interdisciplinary centre that enables scientists and engineers from all areas of civil engineering investigation to work on diverse, yet complementary research.
A special feature of the CERC is the extensive and diverse range of research topics being researched by students and staff in the Centre.

Career Prospects

Introduction
Many of our PhD graduates have moved into academic and research roles in Higher Education while others go on to play leading roles in educational practice, the public sector or within NGO’s. Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability. For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on askEPS@qub.ac.uk. Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.

People teaching you

Dr Giuseppina Amato
Lecturer
Natural and Built Environment
g.amato@qub.ac.uk

Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Senior Lecturer
Natural and Built Environment
m.sonebi@qub.ac.uk

Dr Raymond Flynn
Senior Lecturer
Natural and Built Environment
r.flynn@qub.ac.uk

Dr Rory Doherty
Senior Lecturer
Natural and Built Environment
r.doherty@qub.ac.uk

Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Senior Lecturer
Natural and Built Environment
s.nanukuttan@qub.ac.uk

Professor G Hamill
Professor
Natural and Built Environment
g.a.hamill@qub.ac.uk

Professor Marios Soutsos
Professor
Natural and Built Environment
m.soutsos@qub.ac.uk

Professor Wei Sha
Professor
Natural and Built Environment
w.sha@qub.ac.uk

Learning Outcomes

A research degree offers students an opportunity to foster their capacity for independent research and critical thought. It also allows students to explore an area of interest and so understand and solve theoretical and practical problems within the field.

Undertaking a research degree also enhances a student’s written and oral communication skills, and a PhD is almost always a formal requirement for an academic post.

Course structure

A PhD is awarded for original research in a topic chosen by the student. PhD studies may be undertaken on a full (3 years) or part-time (6 years) basis.

Research students are appointed a primary and secondary supervisor who will guide them through their research, supported by an independent panel reviewing students’ progress.

This independent research is complemented by programmes of training, provided both by the School of Natural and Built Environment and by Queen’s Graduate School.

Assessment

Assessment processes for the research degree differ from taught degrees. Students will be expected to present drafts of their work at regular intervals to their supervisor who will provide written and oral feedback; a formal assessment process takes place annually.

This Annual Progress Review requires students to present their work in writing and orally to a panel of academics from within the School. Successful completion of this process will allow students to register for the next academic year.

The final assessment of the doctoral degree is both oral and written. Students will submit their thesis to an internal and external examining team who will review the written thesis before inviting the student to orally defend their work at a Viva Voce.

Feedback

Supervisors will offer feedback on draft work at regular intervals throughout the period of registration on the degree.

Project name School Funding Subject Status Sort Timestamp
QUADRAT DTP: Investigation of the growth of molds (fungi and bacteria) in bio-based materials made from agro-waste food
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Agronomy, Soil Science, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Hydrology Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Supervisor
Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
22 January 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1579651200
QUADRAT DTP: Assessing the restoration of UK Carbon sinks using geophysics and microbiology
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Agronomy, Soil Science, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Hydrology Dr Rory Doherty
Supervisor
Dr Rory Doherty
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
22 January 2019
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1548115200
QUADRAT: Multidisciplinary Quantification Ecosystem Services to Streams, Provided by Formerly Afforested Blanket Bog.
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Agricultural Sciences, Ecology, Conservation, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Engineering Dr Raymond Flynn
Supervisor
Dr Raymond Flynn
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
22 January 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1579651200
Decision Support Framework for Reliable and Cost-effective Repowering of Bottom-fixed Offshore Wind Farms
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Marine, Mechanical, structural, offshore Dr Madjid Karimirad
Supervisor
Dr Madjid Karimirad
Funding
Funded
DfE
Application deadline
31 March 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1617145200
Supervisor
Professor Marios Soutsos
Funding
Funded
DfE
Application deadline
30 June 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1625007600
Urban agroecology: Risks and Benefits
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Environmental Engineering, Pollution, Soil Science, Environmental Geography, Geochemistry Dr Rory Doherty
Supervisor
Dr Rory Doherty
Funding
Funded
EPSRC
Application deadline
30 June 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1625007600
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Modelling the fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Northwest European Shelf ecosystem with a suite of high-resolution numerical models
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Climatology & Climate Change, Ecotoxicology & Pollution, Environmental Chemistry Dr Kieran O'Driscoll
Supervisor
Dr Kieran O'Driscoll
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
18 January 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1610928000
QUADRAT DTP CASE: Quantifying kelp detrital pathways: what is potentially locked away as Blue Carbon?
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Biochemistry, Biophysics, Botany/Plant Science, Climatology & Climate Change, Ecology & Conservation Dr Louise Kregting
Supervisor
Dr Louise Kregting
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
16 June 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1623798000
QUADRAT DTP: Repurposing fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) composite waste for marine renewable energy
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Climatology & Climate Change, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Marine Biology Dr Madjid Karimirad
Supervisor
Dr Madjid Karimirad
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
16 June 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1623798000
QUADRAT DTP: Development of artificial reefs: design, scientific monitoring, environment impact and management in North/Irish Seas
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Scien Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Supervisor
Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Funding
Funded
NERC QUADRAT-DTP
Application deadline
16 June 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1623798000
SALine INtrusion in coastal Aquifers (SALINA): Hydrodynamic Assessment and Prediction of Dynamic Response
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Civil & Structural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geography, Geology Professor Gerard Hamill
Supervisor
Professor Gerard Hamill
Funding
Funded
DfE
Application deadline
1 May 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1619823600
Fluid Structure Interactions due to Scouring at Bridges
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Civil & Structural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Professor Gerard Hamill
Supervisor
Professor Gerard Hamill
Funding
Funded
DfE
Application deadline
1 May 2021
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1619823600
Crack-inducing thermal stresses in safety-critical concrete structures
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Thermal stresses, safety critical structures, cement hydration, supplementary cementitious materials Professor Marios Soutsos
Supervisor
Professor Marios Soutsos
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Impact Resistance of Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Ultra-high performance fibre reinforced concrete (UHPFRC), impact and blast resistance, Professor Marios Soutsos
Supervisor
Professor Marios Soutsos
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Structural Behaviour of Concrete Block Pavements: Finite Element Modelling of the effect of construction pattern and unit interlock
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Structural behaviour, concrete block pavements, construction pattern, unit interlock Professor Marios Soutsos
Supervisor
Professor Marios Soutsos
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Ultra High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete for Access Floor Tiles
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Professor Marios Soutsos
Supervisor
Professor Marios Soutsos
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Cementless “Geopolymer” Concrete for Sustainable Construction
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Alkali-activated binders (AABs), geopolymer concrete, supplementary cementitious materials Professor Marios Soutsos
Supervisor
Professor Marios Soutsos
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
CITI-GENS DTP: Dynamic characterization of tensile and bond behaviour of basalt textile reinforced mortars (BTRM)
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Composite materials, basalt, textile reinforced mortars, impact loading, bond behaviour Dr Giuseppina Amato
Supervisor
Dr Giuseppina Amato
Funding
Funded
Cofunded by Horizon 2020 prog of the EU and DfE
Application deadline
10 July 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1594335600
Bio-based textile reinforced mortar (bio-TRM) composites for structural strengthening
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Textile reinforced mortars, bio-based materials, structural strengthening, masonry Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Supervisor
Dr Mohammed Sonebi
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
CITI-GENS DTP: Sensor based digital transformation of construction
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD BIM, Sensors, wireless Communication, data analytics, construction process, digitisation Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Supervisor
Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Funding
Funded
Cofunded by Horizon 2020 prog of the EU and DfE
Application deadline
10 July 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1594335600
CITI-GENS DTP: The real-life performance of energy efficiency technologies unearthed through data science
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Data analytics, energy performance, climate change, occupant behaviour, training, thermal performanc Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Supervisor
Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Funding
Funded
Cofunded by the Horizon 2020 prog of the EU & DfE
Application deadline
10 July 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1594335600
Geotechnical and geophysical testing of microbial induced precipitation in soils and construction wastes
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD civil and structural engineering, architecture Dr V Sivakumar
Supervisor
Dr V Sivakumar
Funding
Funded
US Ireland
Application deadline
11 September 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1599778800
Supervisor
Professor Wei Sha
Funding
Funded
Cofunded by Horizon 2020 prog of the EU and DfE
Application deadline
10 July 2020
School of Natural and Built Environment Funded Civil Engineering Closed 2 1594335600
Development of UAV for asset management in construction
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD UAV, photogrammetry, MATLAB, infrastructure management, structural engineering, civil engineering Dr Daniel McPolin
Supervisor
Dr Daniel McPolin
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Bio-based textile reinforced mortar (bio-TRM) composites for structural strengthening
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Bio-based materials, composites, waste materials, TRM, masonry, heritage buildings, strengthening, Dr Giuseppina Amato
Supervisor
Dr Giuseppina Amato
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Do kelp forests lock away carbon to be forgotten
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Macroalgae, water motion, carbon, ecology Dr Louise Kregting
Supervisor
Dr Louise Kregting
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Repurposing offshore wind turbine blades for marine renewable energy applications
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Offshore wind turbines, Offshore renewable energy (ORE), Marine structures, Repurpose Dr Madjid Karimirad
Supervisor
Dr Madjid Karimirad
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Electrical resistivity-based characterisation of concrete: Affordable Technologies
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Durability, Concrete, Resistivity, Temperature, R&D Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Supervisor
Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Corrosion of mild steel reinforcement in alkali activated binders
School of Natural and Built Environment | PHD Corrosion, mild steel, alkali activated materials, measurements Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Supervisor
Dr Sree Nanukuttan
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2
Supervisor
Professor Wei Sha
Funding
Unfunded
Application deadline
None specified
School of Natural and Built Environment Unfunded Civil Engineering Open 2

Entrance requirements

Graduate
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,500
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,500
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £4,500
EU Other 3 £22,000
International £22,000

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Civil Engineering costs

There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.

Additional course costs

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may also be other extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies . Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £100 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges. Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen. There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, and library fines. In undertaking a research project students may incur costs associated with transport and/or materials, and there will also be additional costs for printing and binding the thesis. There may also be individually tailored research project expenses and students should consult directly with the School for further information.

How do I fund my study?
1.PhD Opportunities

Find PhD opportunities and funded studentships by subject area.

2.Funded Doctoral Training Programmes

We offer numerous opportunities for funded doctoral study in a world-class research environment. Our centres and partnerships, aim to seek out and nurture outstanding postgraduate research students, and provide targeted training and skills development.

3.PhD loans

The Government offers doctoral loans of up to £26,445 for PhDs and equivalent postgraduate research programmes for English- or Welsh-resident UK and EU students.

4.International Scholarships

Information on Postgraduate Research scholarships for international students.

Funding and Scholarships

The Funding & Scholarship Finder helps prospective and current students find funding to help cover costs towards a whole range of study related expenses.

How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Find a supervisor

If you're interested in a particular project, we suggest you contact the relevant academic before you apply, to introduce yourself and ask questions.

To find a potential supervisor aligned with your area of interest, or if you are unsure of who to contact, look through the staff profiles linked here.

You might be asked to provide a short outline of your proposal to help us identify potential supervisors.