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PhD Studentship: Structural Behaviour of High Strength Steel Members and Connections


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Saturday 15 July 2023
Reference:  ENG1632

Application details:

The position is available to start in either October or December 2023

Duration: 36 months

Closing date: 15-February-2023

Project description:

Structural hollow sections are always an excellent choice for bridges, trusses frameworks, large span roofs, offshore platforms and many other structures, and tubular joints are indispensable parts of them. In the recent decades, cold-formed high strength steel (CFHSS) tubular members are increasingly used in various engineering applications owing to the exclusive amalgamation of favourable structural efficiency, constructional superiorities, and aesthetical appearances. Because of the advancements in metallurgical science and steel manufacturing technologies, CFHSS, with the yield strength greater than 460 MPa, is now progressively used in the construction industry. By duly realising the apparent increase of CFHSS in recent construction projects, majority of international codes have now extended the current design rules up to S460 grade. However, existing design rules are developed for mild steel tubular joints, which cannot be directly used for CFHSS joints.

In this project, CFHSS tubular members and joints made of S700 and higher steel grades will be experimentally and numerically investigated for their ultimate resistances under axial loads. Circular, square and rectangular hollow sections will be used as brace and chord members. Tests will be conducted on specimens under static loads. Test results will be used to meticulously develop finite element models of the investigated members and joints. Detailed numerical parametric studies will then be performed to analyse the influence of governing parameters on the static behaviour of these members and joints. The comprehensive database generated through experimental and numerical investigation will be used to assess the applicability of existing design rules given in international codes and guides. Finally, accurate and reliable design rules will be proposed. The challenges of welding for CFHSS will also be addressed in this project. The findings of this project will render robust, cost-effective, and sustainable applications of high strength steel members in various onshore and offshore structures.


Applicants should have, or expect to obtain, a 1st class or 2.1 honours degree (or international equivalent) in Civil or Structural Engineering. A relevant Master degree (MSc or M.Eng.) in Structural Engineering would indeed be a plus point. Students with experience in ABAQUS CAE are encouraged to apply. I am looking for an enthusiastic student with research oriented attitude.

This position is available for both home (UK) and international (including Europe) candidates. The competition to secure PhD scholarship is very competitive, and it can only be awarded to candidates with outstanding academic background.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University of Nottingham’s minimum English language requirements.


This project will include the payment of tuition fees as well as a stipend. The current stipends are £18,110 and £13,503 per annum (tax free) for year 2023-24 for home and international candidates, respectively. 

How to apply:

Informal contact can be sent to Dr Madhup Pandey ( before submitting an online application. Please send an updated cover letter, latest CV and personal statement clearly indicating why you are a good fit for the topic; what you could bring to the project; how you have performed academically, details about previous publications etc.

Online application can be made via Please quote the studentship reference and Dr Madhup Pandey.

Please state clearly that you are applying for PhD in Civil Engineering (36 months programme) and in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is “Structural Behaviour of High Strength Steel Members and Connections” and choose Dr Madhup Pandey as your primary supervisor and Dr John Owen as your co-supervisor from Civil Engineering Department of the University of Nottingham.

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship.

Contact details: Dr Madhup Pandey, Assistant Professor in Structural Engineering, University Park Campus, Nottingham, United Kingdom, NG7 2RD.


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