13 Fully Funded PhD Programs at University of Plymouth, England

Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for PhD positions – Fully Funded PhD Programs in UK? University of Plymouth, England inviting application for funded PhD Programs or fully funded PhD Scholarship. University of Plymouth is one of the largest university in the world with thousands of employees, students, and research scientists are involved in the innovation of science and technology daily.

University of Plymouth has huge a campus in England and widely known as for its contribution in top notch education and research. The contribution of University of Plymouth is not only limited to natural sciences and engineering but it also offers high quality research as well as higher education in bio-medical sciences, social sciences, humanities, psychology, education, architecture etc.

1. Hybrid structures for coastal defence and wave energy

Summary of Doctoral Project:

This research focusses on experimental and numerical approaches for investigating the design and performance of hybrid coastal structures that provide both coastal protection and clean energy production. Hybrid shoreline devices that combine the features of oscillating water column (OWC) with wave overtopping (OT) technologies will be investigated in order to optimise their efficiency for wave energy conversion (WEC). In common with other WEC technologies the challenge is to demonstrate the economic viability of constructing, operating and maintaining these devices. One measure of viability is the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). This can be addressed by optimising the efficiency, buildability and reliability of the designs. However, the viability of shoreline WEC technology can be further enhanced by considering the benefits and potential cost reduction when integrated into coastal defences or port structures as active elements for wave absorption.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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2. Biomimicry for de-risking ORE installations

Summary of Doctoral Project:

One of the major ways of meeting net-zero targets will be the wide scale adoption of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE). Whilst there is a long standing history of how to design, install and operate structures for fossil fuel extraction, ORE presents a whole new set of challenges, which are, as yet, unresolved. A great deal of research is currently required to support the design of moorings, anchors and platforms to maximise the energy recovered from an installation. This PhD would look to investigate the world of biomimetic design, and establish how it could enhance the development of ORE structures. The scope of the PhD is not limited in terms of directions of investigation, whether it be at a micro-scale or a macro-scale, and could target solutions in materials, chemistry, mechanical design, rigid body dynamics, structural modelling and hydrodynamics, to name only a few disciplines.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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3. Integrated modelling of floating offshore wind turbine systems

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Development of offshore renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s Net Zero and Energy Security strategies with ambitious targets of 50GW offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW floating offshore wind (FOW), and 100- 140GW by 2050. However, the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of floating offshore wind is still high compared with fixed foundation offshore wind. Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are exposed to harsh and complex conditions in the marine environment and it is important that at the design stage, potential extreme environmental loads on FOWTs under storms, are clearly identified and quantified. This is critical not only for evaluating the survivability of FOWTs, but also to inform the design of new FOWTs for an extended envelope of safe operation and maximum energy output. The accumulation of lifetime operational fatigue loads in non-extreme weather are also critical in reducing the cost of energy from FOWTs. Design for FOWT structures typically uses separate numerical models with varying fidelity for the hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, and structural mechanics the combination of which leads to poor representation of non-linear response and loading. In a floating system the non-linear coupling between mooring, floater, structural response and dynamics of the turbine are all important and complex, and in order to simulate these effects a fully coupled numerical model is required.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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4. Design wave approaches for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Development of offshore renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s Net Zero and Energy Security strategies with ambitious targets of 50GW offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW floating offshore wind (FOW), and 100- 140GW by 2050. However, the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of floating offshore wind is still high compared with fixed foundation offshore wind. Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are exposed to harsh and complex conditions in the marine environment and it is important that at the design stage, potential extreme environmental loads on FOWTs under storms, are clearly identified and quantified. Determining survivability and reliability of FOWTs is crucial before deployment into the ocean. Developing probabilistic design approaches for FOWTs allows us to understand, model and validate for ‘worst-case scenarios.’ These methods have been developed for waves, called ‘design waves,’ but need to be updated for FOWTs to include aerodynamic effects on floating platforms and bending effects from the tower and turbine. The successful candidate will work within a team of researchers developing the hybrid modelling system for FOWTs in the COAST Lab wave basin. The project will take a probabilistic design approach to assess the conditions leading to critical design cases using the hybrid modelling system with development to include: turbulent wind effects for better representation of real conditions; influence of wave / wind misalignment; most likely extreme bending moments to develop further the response-based design wave methodology.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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5. Numerical and wind tunnel modelling of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Development of offshore renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s Net Zero and Energy Security strategies with ambitious targets of 50GW offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW floating offshore wind (FOW), and 100- 140GW by 2050. However, the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of floating offshore wind is still high compared with fixed foundation offshore wind. Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are exposed to harsh and complex conditions in the marine environment and it is important that at the design stage, potential extreme environmental loads on FOWTs under storms, are clearly identified and quantified. In existing design and analysis procedures for floating offshore wind, calculations for the aerodynamics of the turbine, the hydrodynamics of the floater and mooring system, and stress analysis of the structure are often carried out separately, using software tools of varying fidelity, potentially leading to inconsistency between results and inefficiencies in the design process. The successful candidate will join a team of researchers developing a high-fidelity coupled hydro-aero-structural numerical tool for FOWT, with coupled interfaces between solvers to include full physics and efficient parallel implementation. Small and large-scale experiments on single and multiple actuated wind turbines will be carried out to develop a physical database of flow and mechanical characteristics.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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6. A hybrid physical modelling system for Floating Offshore Wind Turbines

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Development of offshore renewable energy is a key part of the Government’s Net Zero and Energy Security strategies with ambitious targets of 50GW offshore wind by 2030, including 5GW floating offshore wind (FOW), and 100- 140GW by 2050. However, the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) of floating offshore wind is still high compared with fixed foundation offshore wind. Floating offshore wind turbines (FOWTs) are exposed to harsh and complex conditions in the marine environment and it is important that at the design stage, potential extreme environmental loads on FOWTs under storms, are clearly identified and quantified. Physical model testing of FOWTs in facilities such as the University of Plymouth (UoP) COAST laboratory are an important part of the design process. However, there is a scaling mismatch between scaling important for hydrodynamic modelling of the floating platform (Froude scaling) and aerodynamic modelling of the wind turbine (Reynolds scaling). To overcome this mismatch, one technique is the hybrid modelling ‘software-in-the-loop’ (SiL) approach, whereby the floating structure is geometrically scaled by Froude scaling and the forces on the tower are also Froude-scaled and modelled by a thruster controlled in real-time. Another technique is to use blown wind experiments and to ensure Froude-scaled forces are correct on the turbine by distorting the blades.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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7. Joint Education of the Innovative Student in Marine Renewable Energy

Summary of Doctoral Project:

We have signed an agreement with the Ocean University of China (OUC) which gives PhD students the opportunity to engage in research in marine and offshore renewable energy at OUC and vice versa. Students will have co-supervisors from each institution. The scheme is funded by China Scholarship Council funding, CSC, supporting PhD students to study abroad. The Joint Academic Committee (JAC) oversees and gives orientation of the joint research, interviews and selects the candidates, evaluates the work quality of the student, and arranges the defence committee for the Dual Degree as required.

Last Application Date: NA

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8. Psychological mechanisms of inter-professional learning in health and social care

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Interdisciplinary teamwork is an integral part of working in health and social care, yet the psychological mechanisms behind successful teamwork in these fields have received little investigation to date. This project will combine knowledge from various facets of social psychology (including research on the contact hypothesis and person-models within predictive coding approaches) into a single framework to investigate how our knowledge and experiences with people from other disciplines informs our attitudes towards them, and the influence this has on our learning. The project is part of a wider investigation within the Plymouth Integrative Health and social care education Centre (PIHC), which supports interdisciplinary learning across the six schools of the Faculty of Health.

Last Application Date: 12 September 2022

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9. Virtually painless: An investigation into the therapeutic potential of virtual natural environments for chronic low back pain

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging digital therapeutic with many different applications for both acute and chronic pain states. These range from home-based cognitive behavioural therapy to the use of interactive distraction based virtual environments. Simulated natural environments have been demonstrated to have strong restorative effects on physical and mental health in healthy populations, however, the therapeutic potential of using simulated natural environments for use in chronic pain patients is poorly understood. This PhD project will directly test the applicability of environmental psychology theories within an immersive virtual reality environment on pain and pain related measures in both healthy participants and chronic low back pain patients. The research will involve using psychophysical (e.g. quantitative sensory testing) and psychometric assessments in both healthy participants and chronic low back pain patients.

Last Application Date: 14 August 2022

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10. The effect of mild traumatic brain injuries on visual and vestibular functions

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) frequently suffer from a variety of visual and vestibular problems. TBI-associated visual symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, reading problems, and eye strain. In addition, many patients show vestibular symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, and impaired balance. TBI can also affect the interactions between the visual and vestibular system that preserve gaze stabilisation during self and imposed body motion resulting in visual induced dizziness. The aim of this 3-year PhD project is to systematically investigate visual and vestibular functions in TBI patients. The visual function experiments will investigate low-level (e.g. contrast sensitivity), mid-level (e.g. contour) and shape perception and high-level cortical visual processes (e.g. visual search, attention). The vestibular testing will involve a combination of clinical tests, objective oculomotor and vestibular tests and tests of visuo-vestibular interactions and eye-head coordination during visual smooth pursuit. Further, the scholar will have the opportunity to incorporate some of the neuroimaging methodologies at the new Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC) at the University of Plymouth.

Last Application Date: 19 August 2022

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11. Developing novel structural and functional markers of dysfunction in neurological disorders

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Advanced human neuroimaging offers an opportunity to elucidate central nervous system changes which result from neurological disease and treatments of these diseases. This PhD offers a unique opportunity, in collaboration with expert clinical and neuroimaging teams, to devise a novel imaging study in one of a range of disease groups cared for at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Foundation Trust. These include neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson’s and Multi System Atrophy), migraine, functional neurological disorders, stroke and traumatic brain injury. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of the neuroimaging, neurology and other clinical teams to acquire appropriate training in the acquisition and analysis of study data. There is also an opportunity to undertake training in and perform analysis using advanced bioinformatics techniques (such as machine and deep learning) and scope to apply these methods to routinely collected ‘real world’ imaging datasets. Existing experience of methods such as neuroimaging (e.g. MRI) and/or computational methods is desirable but not essential.

Last Application Date: 29 August 2022

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12. Defining the biological importance of micro- and nano-plastics on liver and gastrointestinal health

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Plastic pollution is ubiquitous and will inevitably lead to human exposure. Plastic litter comes in a variety of sizes, but microplastics (MPs; <5mm) and nanoplastics (NPs; <1000nm) are of particular concern because of their small size and ability to enter organisms and food chains. These particles are known to be ingested by animals; and laboratory experiments clearly evidence the potential for harm. From a human health perspective, these particles are contaminating foods, with associated concerns over human health, especially gastrointestinal exposure through ingestion. To date, MPs have been documented in mineral water, food (e.g., salt, alcohol), and cooking processes, potentially leading to ingestion, but the effects remain largely unknown. Once ingested, the first biological barrier encountered is the gut, and transfer across the gut and into the blood will inevitably end up in the liver. This interdisciplinary project aims to quantify the burden of microplastics and nanoplastics in human gut, liver and bile samples, and if present determine their biological impact on health and in liver disease. This project will use a combination of in vitro exposures and methods in human sampling to establish the potential role of MP/NP in liver toxicity and disease outcome. It aims to identify, describe, and quantify MP/NP in human tissues and to determine their impact on liver and immune cells.

Last Application Date: 22 August 2022

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13. Investigating the role of Cellular Prion protein (PrP C) in multi drug resistance (MDR) in schwannoma and meningioma tumours

Summary of Doctoral Project:

Tumours of the nervous system such as meningioma and schwannoma are common. Current treatments, surgery, and radiation are not always effective and, in some patients, not possible. There is therefore an urgent need for new effective and non-invasive drug-based therapies. Both meningioma and schwannoma occur either sporadically in adulthood, or in a hereditary tumour predisposition disease Neurofibromatosis type II (NF2) in early adolescence. Approximately 50% of sporadic meningioma, 70% of sporadic schwannoma and all inherited (NF2) meningioma and schwannoma are caused by loss of a tumour suppressor Merlin. There is an intensive search for effective drugs for both sporadic and NF2-related Merlin-deficient meningioma and schwannoma with some success and progress to clinical trials. Unfortunately, many of the potential candidates tested clinically, including PDGFR/cRaf inhibitor Sorafenib tested by us, were not fully effective and caused side effects.

Last Application Date: 17 August 2022

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