PhD Studentship - Contact mechanics of soil/rock grains

Fully funded 4-year PhD studentship
Jun 18, 2020
Jul 10, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time
Job Type
PhD / Doctoral
Vacancy Information

A PhD position is available in the Geotechnics and Materials Group of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, to work on the mechanics of contact between soil and rock grains. It offers the opportunity to work in the exciting and still emerging area of soil micromechanics, in a world-class laboratory and research group. This is attached to a 4-year studentship, covering an annual stipend and home fees.

Studentship Description

The contact mechanics of sand and rock grains can be critical in civil or petroleum engineering problems that require a discrete not continuum approach, such as debris flow or oil well behaviour, but often studies of grains assume simple, smooth shapes and simplistic contact laws. Grains of geological origin have surface asperities and complex shapes. The contact models currently available for rough surfaces were derived mostly for engineered surfaces, for simple loading, and they generally do not work well for soil/rock grains. If successful, you would be working towards developing a contact model for soil/rock grains, combining experiments in the unique particle-to-particle testing facilities of UCL Geotechnics laboratory with data analysis and analytical work.

Person Specification

Applicants must have a first class or upper 2:1 degree in engineering, maths, physics or related discipline, with an interest in experimental as well as analytical work and good mathematical skills. Organisational, interpersonal and communication skills are essential.


The studentship is available to UK nationals and EU (non-UK) nationals if they have been resident in the UK since September 2017. To be eligible to pay fees at the UK/EU rate, you must normally be a national of an EU country, or the relevant family member of an EU national, and have been ordinarily resident within the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland or EU Overseas Territories for the 3 year period before the first day of the first academic year of your programme. Please see the UCL Student fee status page to determine your appropriate tuition fee.

Applicants should send a covering letter, CV and contact information for 2 referees to Dr Beatrice Baudet ( If invited for interview, applicants will then have to apply online to UCL by submitting the PhD application form which they can do by clicking on the Apply now button at the bottom of this page: Please name Dr Beatrice Baudet as the proposed supervisor.

Contact name

Dr Beatrice Baudet

Contact details

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Closing Date

10 Jul 2020

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Studentship Start Date

28th September 2020