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Postgraduate research project

Hydrant dynamics for acoustic leak detection in water pipes

Competition funded View fees and funding
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Would you like to help the UK eliminate leakage-related water loss? We’re offering a 3.5-year fully funded PhD to investigate the dynamics of hydrants to enhance acoustic-based water leak detection.

Leakages from pipes pose a significant environmental, economic and health problem in the water industry. The UK is determined to tackle this problem so has recently set up the Zero Leakage 2050 initiative. Acoustic methods are widely used for leak detection but rely on limited access points. The waves emitted by leaks are recorded by sensors usually mounted on hydrants. However, their complex dynamic behaviour poses a challenge in interpreting the data.

You will focus on uncovering and quantifying the contribution of hydrant dynamics in leak detection setups. Your work will improve hydrant design and enhance leak detection capabilities, and have an impact on industry-sensing practices and guidelines. As well as gaining skills in dynamics, signal processing and experimentation, you'll make a valuable contribution to an untapped field of research using theoretical and experimental approaches, including field measurements.

You’ll work in the Dynamics Group of the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) at Southampton. ISVR is at the forefront of leak detection research and shows steady growth in this area. You will be a part of the Sustainable Infrastructure and Cities Centre for Doctoral Training which includes multi-disciplinary researchers from across the entire faculty. The experimental work will be conducted at ISVR labs, the Future Towns Innovation Hub at Chilworth Science Park, and live industrial test sites.

The project is funded by UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), the water industry research procurement body in the UK.