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PhD Studentship in Stainless steel structures in fire: Behaviour, numerical modelling and design

School of Engineering, University of Warwickstructural_eng.jpg

Supervisor: Dr Merih Kucukler

Application deadline: 01 November 2019

Project start date: 6 January 2020

Duration: 3 years


The project:

Owing to its combination of excellent corrosion resistance, superior mechanical properties and aesthetic appearance, stainless steel is increasingly being utilised as a structural material, offering sustainable construction with increased design life and low maintenance requirements.

In a fire, stainless steel exhibits significantly different material response with better strength and stiffness retention relative to conventional carbon steel widely used in construction, leading to significantly enhanced performance for stainless steel structures relative to their carbon steel counterparts at elevated temperatures. However, despite this significant quality of stainless steel over ordinary carbon steel at elevated temperatures, the current European structural steel fire design standard EN 1993-1-2 recommends the design provisions originally developed for carbon steel structures for the design of stainless steel structures in fire, typically leading to inaccurate and overly-conservative designs of stainless steel structures at elevated temperatures.

With the aim of improving the design provisions provided in EN 1993-1-2 for stainless steel structures, this PhD project will focus on the behaviour and design of stainless steel structures in fire. Various instability phenomena encountered in stainless steel structural elements will be thoroughly explored. Advanced nonlinear numerical models able to replicate the behaviour of stainless steel structural members in the fire will be created by means of the finite element analysis software ABAQUS and validated against experimental results. Design methods for stainless steel elements in a fire, furnishing very accurate assessment of their behaviour at elevated temperatures, will be developed for the purpose of their future incorporation into European structural steel fire design code EN 1993-1-2.

 Eligibility: Applicants should hold a first-class or upper second class honours degree (and/or postgraduate MSc degree) in Civil/Structural Engineering. Applicants should have a strong understanding of structural behaviour and a strong interest in developing appropriate mathematical and computer models for structural analysis and design.

 Funding: The annual stipend will be £15,009 (tax-free), for 3 years, with university fees paid at the UK/EU rate. The full scholarship is for UK/EU students only.

How to Apply

Email a full CV, academic transcripts, and cover letter, explaining your interest in pursuing a PhD in this area to with ‘PhD Application’ in the subject line.

“Please go to the following link for information with regard to the research interests and expertise of Dr Kucukler”

If your interview is successful you will be required to submit a formal application to the University of Warwick and fulfil the entry requirements for a PhD in Engineering details for this can be found at