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Postgraduate research project

Using acoustics to monitor how small cracks develop into bursts in pipelines

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 position to support water network prognostics through monitoring pipeline leak progression.

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. While pipe bursts usually receive media coverage, there is little known about what leads to a burst and how a small leak transforms into a major burst.

This PhD project will use strong industrial links to explore the mechanisms behind the leak-to-burst transition and develop acoustic-based methods for monitoring this evolution. You’ll investigate the characteristics of leak noise, and work towards identifying algorithms for lifespan prognosis. As well as gaining practical skills in physics, data processing, and experimentation, you'll make a valuable contribution to an untapped field of research using theoretical and experimental approaches, including flow visualisation.

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.