Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Geotechnics


14 Jun 2023
Job Information

Research Field
Researcher Profile
Recognised Researcher (R2)
Established Researcher (R3)
United Kingdom
Application Deadline
31 Jul 2023 – 00:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

The Role

This post supports delivery of research objectives for an EPSRC-funded project at Durham and Dundee Universities ( and ) led by Professor Charles Augarde, and is focussed on numerical modelling. The project concerns braced embedded retaining walls, which are substantial pieces of temporary works for building deep basements and metro stations. Key issues for designers are prediction of ground movements and propping forces and while some guidance is available coverage of the behaviour at excavation corners as regards both design issues is poor. There is substantial published research on the 2D modelling of braced excavations, some of it validated against field data, however accounting for 3D effects as required for the analysis of corners is rare and insubstantial. The purpose of the research project on which the postholder would be employed is improving of our understanding of the behaviour of these corners and how it is affected by soil behaviour, system stiffness and prop loading leading to (a) greater economy in propping schemes and (b) more certainty in the prediction of ground movements adjacent to corners, potentially reducing the accommodation works required to prevent damage to adjacent structures and the potential for insurance claims.

The post-holder would be responsible for the following objectives: (a) to generate a library of data (“snapshots”) from 3D FE analyses of models of corners of braced excavations; (b) to validate the FE results against a programme of centrifuge modelling of corners of braced excavations (being carried out by another RA at Dundee University as part of the overall project) for a selection of key scenarios, and against field data; (c) to use the results from (a) to build Reduced Order Models (ROMs) of the braced excavation corner problem; (d) to use the ROMs to explore the problem in greater depth than previously at high efficiency; (e) to produce a design guide to supplement current advice and to disseminate this to practitioners.

The successful applicant will be expected to develop an existing finite element code to run on HPC hardware, carry out a large number of lengthy analyses with the code, use the data produced to build the ROMs and then to demonstrate its performance for the predictions required. The successful applicant will work closely with a counterpart at Dundee University where the centrifuge work will be carried out, with all the investigators and with a Project Advisory Group from industry.

Additional Information
Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
United Kingdom
Durham, United Kingdom

Where to apply



Durham, United Kingdom


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