Structural performance of cross laminated timber (CLT) buildings under dynamic load

  • Overview:
    Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) has become a widely used engineered timber product, and the primary structural material for Mass Timber Construction, an approach that is expected to contribute substantially to reducing the CO2 emissions of the construction industry. With a growing number of CLT buildings appearing across Europe, interest in the system is increasing, particularly for mid-rise residential sector projects where traditional timber systems are not a cost-effective option. CLT is a renewable, green and sustainable material, which creates low carbon or carbon neutral developments. CLT is a relatively light building material which is a desirable quality for mid- and high-rise CLT building in particular in earthquake-prone regions in Europe or the US. While CLT is now frequently used for the mid-rise residential sector, the next step is to consider how CLT can apply to taller structures. However, high rise CLT construction remains unproven in seismic zones, while its novelty means that it has a limited track record under complex dynamic loads. This project aims to investigate the performance of mid- and high-rise CLT buildings under wind loads and seismic excitation. To do so, strong data from a full-scale shaking table test will be used to develop and validate structural computer models for CLT buildings. The project involves data processing/analysis of experimental investigations and developing/validating finite element (FE) models for CLT buildings.

    Person specification
    A valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, must be submitted with your application.
    We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate who should have or be in the process of obtaining an excellent first degree (a 2:1 or above) or MSc degree with Distinction, preferably in a relevant engineering discipline (e.g.Civil, Environmental or Chemical Engineering), or in Mathematics/Physics, or in Physical Geography, or in a related discipline. The role will involve field visits to obtain primary datasets through tracer tests, analyses of data, and development of a model.
    Thus applicants should demonstrate
    Good knowledge of dynamics, structural analysis, material behaviour, computer modelling and data processing using Matlab
    Experience in structural modelling using OpenSees and ANSYS.
    Good written and oral communication skills are essential.
    Knowledge and experience of laboratory testing would be an advantage.

    Funding notes
    The opportunity is open to Home, EU and International applicants who meet the required Birmingham City University eligibility criteria. The PhD studentship includes a full stipend, paid for a period of 3 years at RCUK rates (in 2019/20 this is £15,009 pa) and fees at Home/EU rate. This studentship is available for September 2019 start and no later than January 2020. International applicants are eligible to apply for this studentship but must meet the shortfall on fees between Home/EU and International rate.

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    [2] Kjellin, J, Wörman, A, Johansson, H, & Lindahl, A. (2007). Controlling factors for water residence time and flow patterns in Ekeby treatment wetland, Sweden. Advances in Water Resources, 30(4), 838-850.
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    [5] Shucksmith, J. D. (2008). Impact of vegetation in open channels on flow resistance and solute mixing. PhD Thesis. Sheffield.
    [6] Somes, N.L.G., Persson, J. & Wong, T.H.F. (1998). Influence of Wetland Design Parameters on the Hydrodynamics of Stormwater Wetlands. Hydrastorm, Adelaide, 27-30 September, 1998, 123-128.
    [7] Stovin, V.R., Grimm, J.P, & Lau, S.D (2008). Solute Transport Modeling for Urban Drainage Structures. ASCE, 134(8).
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    How to apply
    The closing date for applications is 12am on Wednesday 17 July 2019.
    You can find details on studying for a PhD and details of how to apply here –
    When applying, please complete the online application form through the above provided link where you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement.
    Reference: EBE-052019-PhD-5

    For Informal academic enquiries please contact the academic supervisor, Dr Mohammad Reza Salami ( +44 (0) 121 331 6417) of the Materials and Manufacturing Research Group, Centre of Engineering, School of Engineering and the Built Environment, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University.
    For all administrative enquiries please contact Bernadette Allen ( from the Doctoral College, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University.

  • Duration: 36 Months