The current linear approach to construction of design-build-use-demolish is unsustainable leading to material consumption, embodied carbon and waste, and we need to move to a circular model of design-build-use-reuse. Design for deconstruction (DfD) has the potential to unlock this material consumption by reducing embodied carbon and waste of new constructions. Prefabricated systems are ideal candidates for offering high potential to be optimized by adopting DfD principles. This project will develop the circularity of drywall components used for outdoor façades, comprising light steel frames and completed with a variety of finishes. Allowing the complete disassembly and reuse of these outdoor façades, and their subcomponents, is essential for a circular future and this project will achieve this through design optimisation, system development and testing, coupled with lifecycle assessment.
The proposed research aligns perfectly with the ‘Engineering’ theme of the EPSRC portfolio as well as the ‘Manufacturing The Future’ theme. In the Structural Engineering research area, the project will contribute to the core themes of ‘Sustainability’ and ‘Resilient Infrastructure’, addressing several topics including sustainable development of steel structures, from design to life cycle performance. The project complements the growing body of work in Circular Economy, including the £30m UKRI national circular economy research programme.
The candidate is expected to have some knowledge of cold-formed steel systems, be passionate about sustainability principles, and open to experimental and design studies.
How to apply
Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the University’s website. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying to PHD Civil Engineering FT and in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is Lightweight Façade Systems Designed for Deconstruction and Reuse as well as Dr Ornella Iuorio | School of Civil Engineering | University of Leeds as your proposed supervisor.
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English language requirements (below).
Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.
Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 29 July 2022:
- Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date
- Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project
Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.
English language requirements
The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.
Funding on offer
A highly competitive EPSRC CASE Competition Studentship in partnership with the ETEX Group, consisting of the award of fees with a maintenance grant of £16,062 for session 2022/23 for 3.5 years with an additional Top-Up of £3,000 per year.
This opportunity is open to UK applicants only. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC CASE Competition Studentship Award Competition and selection is based on academic merit.
Please refer to the UKCISA website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals starting from September/October 2021.