PhD Studentship in Control of Biofouling in Water Pipes Using Guided Waves

University of Southampton School of Engineering

United Kingdom

PhD Studentship in Control of Biofouling in Water Pipes Using Guided Waves

School of Engineering

Location:Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Sunday 31 May 2020
Reference: 1237120DA

Supervisor: Dr Timothy Waters

Project description

A major issue for the water industry in a number of countries, including the UK, is the attachment of large populations of mussels to the inside of pipe walls causing significant flow resistance. A novel and chemical-free solution to this problem might be to vibrate the pipe wall, either to overcome their adhesion to the surface or to discourage their attachment in the first place. 

The aim of this project is to explore the feasibility of disturbing mussels in an environmentally friendly manner by injecting ‘guided waves’ into the pipe wall. In particular, the wave energy will be focused at movable target positions to compensate for attenuation along the pipe due to energy losses which would otherwise limit an actuator’s range. The project will involve modelling of wave propagation in fluid-filled pipes using semi-analytical and numerical techniques, and both laboratory and field measurements. 

You will join the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton, a vibrant research community with an international reputation for innovative and impactful research spanning over 50 years. 

You will have a first or upper second class Bachelors’ or Masters’ degree in a mechanically based engineering subject, or in physical sciences. You will have a proven track record in computer modelling. Programming in any language is desirable. Prior knowledge of mechanical vibrations is advantageous, although taught modules will be available for those with some or no previous background.

This is an (ISVR) studentship. ISVR is a leading international centre for research in acoustics and vibration. We have a range of fully funded projects and offer our students a dynamic and supportive research environment, world-class facilities, high quality projects and key skills.

A postgraduate degree from the University of Southampton will give you the edge in your career in industry or academia.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Timothy Waters, Dynamics Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4979.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 May 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Timothy Waters under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include: 

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

In your application, please refer to