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EPSRC FIBE2 CDT PhD studentship with MTC: Bridge structures with zero emissions

This is a four-year (1+3 MRes/PhD) studentship funded through the Cambridge EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment: Resilience in a Changing World (FIBE2 CDT). The FIBE2 CDT aims to develop the next generation of infrastructure professionals who can create, shape and deliver the national vision for UK infrastructure.

The project is funded in collaboration with MTC, a company who provide integrated manufacturing system solutions for customers large and small, across sectors as diverse as automotive, aerospace, rail, informatics, food & drink, construction/civil engineering, electronics, oil & gas and defence.

Project: For the construction industry, the two critical challenges presented by the Absolute Zero report are the closure of all blast-furnace steel production and the fact that we have no scalable practical alternatives to Portland cement. Further implications change the context of construction, there won't be enough emissions-free electricity to support electric vehicles at today's levels and consequently demand for public transport will rise. What does this mean for the future of bridge construction?

The proposed PhD would be "T-shaped" - a first year scoping the topic broadly, sampling industrial opinion, and identifying possible technical interventions. Years two and three would then aim at more technical projects - looking in detail at technological interventions that show the most promise from the results of the first year. Two example key technical questions that arise as we think about zero emissions bridges and could be of real interest and value are: -How can we ground a bridge without cement/ concrete. For example, what are the durability implications of steel attachments? What of vibrations, etc. -What is the maximum performance would could get from constructing bridges with emissions-free materials: for example, what is the optimal stone bridge, if built with waterjet-cut stone, and very precise geometry? What is the tallest, strongest timber bridge possible?

For general enquiries, please email For project-specific enquiries please e-mail Professor Julian Allwood (

The FIBE2 CDT studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for eligible UK students. EU and international students will be considered for partial funding (home-level fees and maintenance) from the CDT as part of their application.

Further details about eligibility and funding are at:

To apply for this studentship, candidates must apply through the following link: with the project and supervisor named on the form. There is a £70 fee for applications.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.