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Scour around coastal and offshore structures under complex wave and current conditions

Project ID: 2228cc1448 (You will need this ID for your application)

Research Theme: Engineering

UCL Lead department: Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering (CEGE)

Department Website

Lead Supervisor: Eugeny Buldakov

Industry partner: HR Wallingford

Stipend enhancement: £2,000 pa

Project Summary:

Scour is the process of removing sediments from around foundations of marine structures by currents and waves. Miscalculation of scour effects can lead to failure or over design of a structure. Scour is difficult for theoretical analysis and computer simulation. Design codes recommend using empirical models to predict scour and such models play considerable role in design. These models are based on a limited number of parameters and often lead to errors for conditions different from those on which they are based.

This project will perform an extensive experimental study of scour around cylindrical structures under complex wave-current conditions not covered by modern models. Random waves and wave groups will be combined with variable currents representing tidal cycles. New parametrisation method will be used, when waves and currents are represented as a combination of individual events: wave periods and tidal cycles. The removal or deposition of sediments in a scour hole for each event will be identified. This allows to develop a transient model predicting the depths of a scour hole after a prescribed sequence of events. Apart from the classical method of model construction by data fitting, the machine learning will be used, based on a large number of individual events. Experiments will be carried out in the Coastal Flume in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The flume is perfect for the project, as its sophisticated wave and current generation system allows for flexible creation of variable waves and currents.

The ideal candidate for the project will be keen to gain experience in advanced experimental coastal and offshore research drawing on their strong background in mathematics, physics and engineering. They will enthusiastically develop new scientific and technical knowledge through independent research and industry collaboration and make their ambitious career plans possible by carrying out this challenging project.