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Developing resilient hospitals through agent-based modelling

Approximate one-fifth of UK confirmed COVID-19 cases and the majority of the infected frontline healthcare workers are associated with healthcare-acquired infections due to contaminated built environments. This project aims to develop more resilient hospital building layouts concerning clinical network efficiency and nosocomial infection risks via agent-based computer simulations.

The PhD candidate will work in a multi-disciplinary team engaging healthcare bodies, engineering consultants and NGOs.

Applicants shall have a first or upper-second class honours degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Design or similar disciplines.

A postgraduate degree or work experience is not required but may be an advantage. Applicants are recommended to demonstrate his/her skills and experience in conducting original design, building information modelling and programming when preparing the research proposal/statement.

References:

Agent-based modelling is a form of computational method for simulating the actions and interactions of individuals (agents) with the built environments. More information about the research group can be found here.  

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.


Dr Kangkang Tang - Dr Kangkang Tang is a chartered civil engineer (CEng MICE) and a senior lecturer leading the undergraduate civil engineering modules at Brunel University London. He is the course director of BEng Civil Engineering and BEng Civil Engineering with sustainablity. 

Professor Xiangming Zhou - Scopus Profile BEng, MEng(Res), PhD, PGCE, FHEA, SRILEM, MICT, MASCE, MACI, MIMS, GMICE, GMIStructE - Xiangming is a Professor and Head of Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences at Brunel University London. He joined Brunel in October 2008 as a lecturer and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2011, Reader in 2016 and Professor in 2018. Before joined Brunel, he was a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering at University of Greenwich from January 2007 to September 2008. He conducted post-doctoral research at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hong Kong Polytechnic University from January 2005 to January 2007. At Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he received University Post-doctoral Fellowship. He received his PhD in Civil Engineering from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in December 2004. He also holds two degrees, BEng in Civil & Structural Engineering and MEng (Res) in Structural Engineering awarded in 1997 and 2000, respectively, both by Tongji University, Shanghai, China. Xiangming’s research covers a board range of fields in Construction Materials and technology, with focus on cement and concrete, and structural engineering. In the area of Construction Materials and technology, he focuses on advanced concrete technology such as extrusion, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, low carbon and energy efficient (through encapsulated phase-change materials (PCMs)) cementitious materials and energy efficient buildings, cement less but cement like materials such as magnesium oxychloride cement and geopolymer / alkali-activated cement made from metakaolin, calcined clay, pulverised fly ash (PFA), mining waste and/or ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) etc., valorization of construction and demolition waste (CDW) and mining waste, testing and modelling of rheology and early-age engineering properties of cement-based materials for extrusion and 3D printing, fracture testing and modelling of concrete, restrained shrinkage cracking of concrete, synthetic and/or natural fibre reinforced concrete, cement-based smart and functional materials for infrastructure, applications of nanotechnology in cement-based materials etc. In Structural Engineering, his research interest falls in seismic testing, analysis and design of steel-concrete composite high-rise buildings, performance-based multi-hazards mitigation of building structures under extreme loadings, precast concrete segmental bridges, fibre-reinforced concrete ground slabs, impact and fracture of natural fibre reinforced concrete, structural-function integrated structural panels, and numerical modelling of fracture and structural behaviour of concrete and concrete structures which brings his expertise in Construction Materials & Technology and Structural Engineering under one umbrella. Xiangming has a sustained track record of high-quality research publications in construction materials and structural engineering. He has published papers in referred main stream civil and structural engineering journals, such as Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, ASCE; Journal of Engineering Mechanics, ASCE; Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE; ACI Structural Journal; ACI Materials Journal; Engineering Structures (Elsevier); Engineering Fracture Mechanics (Elsevier); Computers & Structures (Elsevier); Construction and Building Materials (Elsevier); Cement and Concrete Composites (Elsevier); Materials and Design (Elsevier); Materials and Structures, RILEM; Journal of Earthquake Engineering (Taylor & Francis); Engineering Failure Analysis (Elsevier) etc. Xiangming has been Principal Investigator of research projects funded by UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), European Commission 7th Framework Programme, European Commission Horizon 2020, British Council, UKIERI, UK Royal Academy of Engineering etc. He has been the Scientific Manager of a European Commission 7th Framework Programme funded cooperation project, i.e. the FIBCEM project (www.fibcem.com), with the budget of €2.75 million (European Commission contribution) and has led a consortium with 10 partners from 5 EU member state countries delivering the project. Currently, he is the Coordinator of the Green INSTRUCT project (www.greeninstruct.eu) funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 under the theme of NMBP - Energy Efficient Buildings and am leading a consortium with 14 partners from 8 EU member state countries delivering this €5.0 million (European Commission contribution) project. Currently, he is also the PI of a UKIERI funded project - A New Framework of High-value Added Zero-waste Recycling of Concrete from Construction and Demolition Waste - collaborating with IIT Madras and the PI of a British Council Researcher Links Workshop grant - Valorization of Construction and Demolition Waste for Sustainable Infrastructure Development - collaborating with Tongji University, China. Prof Zhou is also the PI of a MSCA Individual Fellowship grant - Nano-engineered aluminosilicate cementitious materials (i.e. NEASCMs) to start in October 2020. He has also been a work package leaders of another Horizon 2020 funded project, i.e. the REMINE project (https://reminemsca.wordpress.com/). He has also led / participated in other national and international collaborative research projects. Xiangming has lectured structural design (concrete, steel, masonry, seismic and prestressed concrete), structural mechanics, structural dynamics, bridge design and assessment, construction materials, materials technology, sustainability in construction, civil engineering drawing, computer modelling in civil engineering etc. at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Greenwich and Brunel University London at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has been shorted list as one of the three academics in the College of Engineering, Design & Physical Sciences for Student Led Teaching Award of Tutor/Supervisor of the Year 2016/17. As a member of the team, Civil Engineering Division received Teach Brunel College AwardsBest Subject 2017. Xiangming has conducted peer review for grant proposals submitted to the EPSRC (first grant scheme, standard responsive mode, early career fellowship & engineering programme grants), UKRI Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Centres multi-million proposals, European Commission Horizon 2020, Royal Society (Industrial Fellowship, Newton Advanced Fellowship), Hong Kong Croucher Foundation (Senior Research Fellowship), Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKRGC), and other EU national research councils. He is a full member of EPSRC College and has also served EPSRC Engineering Programme Grants Interview Panel for multi-million grant decision (https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewPanel.aspx?PanelId=1-44R7R2). He has been reviewing papers for more than 50 international academic journals. He is appointed an editorial board member of Advances in Concrete Construction: An International Journal of Sustainability and Innovation in Concrete Construction; an Associate Editor of the journal of Frontiers in Materials – Structural Materials / Frontiers in Built Environment – Structural Materials; and an editorial board member of The Open Construction & Building Technology Journal. He has also served as Chair/Member of Technical Program Committee, International Scientific Committee, International Conference Committee, International Advisory Committee etc. for around 20 conferences and he has also served as session chair in a number of international conferences. He chaired the 2nd International RILEM Workshop on Rheology and Digital Fabrication of Cement-based Materials. He is a member of Technical & Education Committee, Institute of Concrete Technology; a member of RILEM TC MRP – Measuring Rheological Properties of Cement-based Materials; and a member of RILEM TC DFC – Digital Fabrication with Cement-based Materials. He was also an invited member of UK Industrial Forum for Standards and Uses of Alkali Activated Cements. He has been External Examiner for PhD theses in University of Strathclyde, Manchester, Edinburgh Napier, Dundee, UCL, Brighton, Greenwich, Lancaster & Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is the External Examiner of the MSc Advanced Structural Engineering (FT/PT) course at Edinburgh Napier University and the External Examiner of BSc Civil Engineering at University of Ulster. He has also been External Panel Member for course approval/validation in other UK universities. He has been an invited assessor of Research Excellence Framework outputs (UoA13) by Liverpool John Moores University. He has received the 1st Class Natural Sciences Award issued by Chinese Ministry of Education for the research on Seismic Effects on Building Structures jointly with a group of recipients including academics and practicing engineers in mainland China and Hong Kong. Xiangming has developed a large research network in Europe and in China/Hong Kong. He has been appointed visiting professor at Dalian University of Technology etc.

Academic / Research Career

  • Head of Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Brunel University London, since September 2018
  • Professor in Civil Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Brunel University London, since 2018
  • Reader in Civil Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Brunel University London, from 2016 to 2018
  • Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering Design, School of Engineering and Design (Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering from August 2014 to September 2016), Brunel University London, from 2011 to 2016
  • Lecturer in Civil Engineering Design, School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University London, from 2008 to 2011
  • Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Greenwich, from January 2007 to September 2008
  • University Post-Doctoral Fellow, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, from April 2006 to January 2007
  • Visiting Scholar and Instructor, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, from January 2005 to March 2006

Education

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Greenwich, March 2009
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, December 2004
  • Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering (2.5 years research degree equivalent to MPhil + MSc), Tongji University, Shanghai, China, July 2000
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Civil & Structural Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China, July 1997