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Time-dependent behaviour of alkali-activated reinforced concretes structures

Applications are invited for our EPSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentships that will support six (6) research projects starting 1 October 2022. One of these projects is “Time-dependent behaviour of alkali-activated reinforced concretes structures led by Dr Esmaeel Esmaeeli in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Successful applicants will receive an annual stipend of £18,062 including outer London allowance plus payment of their full-time tuition fees for a period of 42 months (3.5 years).

You should be eligible for home (UK) tuition fees but there is a limited number of studentships (no more than two) available to overseas applicants, including EU nationals, who meet the entry criteria.

The Project

The construction sector in several countries, including the United Kingdom, has recently welcomed Alkali-Activated Concretes (ACCs) as a promising construction material for developing a sustainable built environment. A widespread adoption of ACCs, however, requires a comprehensive understanding of their mechanical performance, specifically long-term response. This project is focused on the investigation of the ACCs mechanical behaviour with the aim of developing numerical and analytical models capable of predicting the time-dependent response of structural systems made of these materials.

Please contact Dr Esmaeel Esmaeeli at esmaeel.esmaeeli@brunel.ac.uk to find out more about the project.


You will have or will receive an undergraduate degree classified at 1st class or 2:1 (honours) in civil engineering or related discipline. A postgraduate masters degree may be an advantage. Where appropriate, applicants must have English language proficiency to an overall score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Skills and Experience

A sound knowledge of the key concrete technology principles, mechanics of materials, and familiarity with predictive numerical and analytical models are also essential criteria. Previous laboratory experience and programming skills (VBA, C++ or Python language) are desirable. You should be a highly motivated individual and possess a strong sense of curiosity. The ability to study independently, think critically and collaborate with others is essential.

How to apply

Email the documents below as a single PDF file to cedps-studentships@brunel.ac.uk by 16:00 on Friday 3 June 2022. Please state the name of the project supervisor in your email.

  • Your up-to-date CV;
  • Your 300-word personal statement setting out why you are suitable for this position;
  • Your Undergraduate/Postgraduate Masters degree certificate(s) and transcript(s);
  • Your English Language qualification of IELTS 6.5 overall or equivalent, if applicable;
  • Two references, one of which can be provided by a member of Brunel University academic staff.

Interviews will take place in June 2022.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Esmaeel Esmaeeli - Esmaeel is a Lecturer in Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Before joining Brunel University London, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) funded by the prestigious Horizon2020 Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship (€183,454). In this project the innovative rapid and reliable post-tensioning solution, SMArtPlate, was developed for strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) structures, such as bridges. Thanks to the €48,000 scholarship awarded to his PhD proposal by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), the Hybrid Composite Plate (HCP) - another innovative system for retrofitting RC structures - was conceptualized and developed in ISISE (Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering), Civil Engineering Department, University of Minho. HCP utilises the synergetic advantages of Strain Hardening Cementitious Composite (SHCC) and Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) to provide higher durability and connection reliability to structural strengthening practices than that of conventional systems, such as FRP and TRM. During his MSc, Esmaeel developed a novel seismic strengthening technique, composed of GFRP wet layup and steel profiles, for seismic strengthening of deficient RC beam-column joints. This MSc thesis was developed at K. N. Toosi University of Technology in Tehran and in collaboration with International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology of Iran. Esmaeel has several years of consultancy experience. He was a team leader in projects dealing with the vulnerability assessment and strengthening of structures.

Related Research Group(s)

Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering

Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering - Delivering a new understanding of our geo-environment and critical infrastructure in diverse ecosystems, for predicting and preventing catastrophic failure and responding to the need for decarbonisation and energy security.

Resilient Structures and Construction Materials

Resilient Structures and Construction Materials - RIMS research group brings together material scientists and structural engineers to deliver resilient infrastructure (buildings, bridges etc.) made of sustainable, advanced materials to perform under harsh natural environment and human-induced hazards.