Vortex-induced Vibration of slender/threadlike structures in unsteady flow

Vortex-induced Vibration of slender/threadlike structures in unsteady flow

Director of Studies: Dr Alessandro Antonini 

Second Supervisor: Dr Edward Ransley 

Additional supervisors: 

Dr Jahir Rizvi 

Professor James Brownjohn

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2018.

Project description

For some time now, Vortex-Induced Vibrations (VIV) of slender structures, such as offshore risers and cables, have been a major design issue for the offshore industry. Furthermore, with the increasing development of floating offshore structures, the dynamics of these structures, when subject to top-end body motion, have become an important research field within both the oil industry and green energy sector.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop and validate a VIV prediction tool for slender structures experiencing wave-induced top-end motions. The main objectives are: to create a simplified MATLAB tool for predicting the dynamic behaviour of slender structures; carry out physical investigation in University of Plymouth’s ocean basin (COAST Laboratory) to produce VIV benchmark results, and; to develop a two-way coupled computational tool (CFD/FEA), based on open-source codes, for predicting the VIV behaviour of slender structures when connected to floating devices.

The numerical work will be supported by the CCP-WSI Project and through links with the UK National Supercomputing Service, providing unparalleled opportunities for training in numerical modelling. Furthermore, the project will be jointly supervised by Prof. James Brownjohn providing opportunities to engage with the internationally recognised Vibration Engineering Section at the University of Exeter. The skills acquired in this project will, hence, be useful in a wide range of off-shore engineering employment areas as well.


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification.

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full Home/EU tuition fees plus a stipend of £14,777 per annum. The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home/EU fees. Applicants normally required to cover overseas fees will have to cover the difference between the Home/EU and the overseas tuition fee rates (approximately £10,350 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Alessandro Antonini. However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at the University is available at: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/student-life/your-studies/research-degrees/applicants-and-enquirers

Please apply via the online application form which can be found at: https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/study/postgraduate and select ‘Apply’.

Please mark it FAO Aimee McNeillie, clearly stating that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Engineering.  Please attach a covering letter detailing your suitability for the studentship, a CV and two academic references.

For more information on the admissions process, please contact Aimee McNeillie.

The closing date for applications is 12 noon, 9 April 2018. 

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview week beginning 30 April 2018. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications.