Transport infrastructure risk management under natural hazards

This project aims to develop a systematic methodology focusing on vulnerability assessment and failure consequence modelling of transportation networks against natural hazards.


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source

European Regional Development Fund

Funding information

The studentship is fully funded from the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Programme. You will receive a stipend of £20,000 per annum, for eligible UK/EU students, that will cover your university fees and living expenses. Additional funding is available for international travel to attend project meetings and conferences as well as covering consumables throughout the duration of the project. The funding for this studentship is specifically for UK and EU applicants only. Outstanding, self-funded international applicants are able to apply for the PhD project.


This PhD project is part of a wider European project on Strengthening Infrastructure Risk Management in the Atlantic area (SIRMA) which aims at developing, validating and implementing a robust framework for the efficient management and mitigation of natural hazards in terrestrial transportation modes at the Atlantic area, which considers both road and railway infrastructure networks (multi-modal). Most of the transportation of people and goods in the Atlantic area is carried out through rail and road. The performance of this infrastructure is directly affected by extreme natural events and by the strong corrosion processes that result from proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The SIRMA project will develop solutions for the management and mitigation of such risks, by implementing immediate, medium and long-term measures, and therefore to increase the overall resilience of transportation infrastructure.

The project will contribute to this overall aim by focusing on the assessment of the vulnerability of transportation infrastructure to combined gradual (e.g. deterioration) and extreme (e.g. flooding) events under various climate change scenarios. A framework for quantifying the consequences of failure of transportation networks under extreme events will be developed and integrated into the wider risk management framework that will be delivered by the EU project. The interaction of weather and climate parameters with transportation networks will be investigated and their effects on affecting the reliability of infrastructure assets will be quantified through the use of probabilistic models.

The PhD project will be supervised by Dr Boulent Imam, who has extensive experience on the assessment of climate change impacts on infrastructure and reliability analysis of structures, and Dr Donya Hajializadeh, who will provide guidance and training on failure consequence modelling and analysis of transportation networks under natural hazards. Throughout the duration of the project, you will have the opportunity to interact with other academic partners of the wider European project as well as transport infrastructure operators and managers.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants should ideally have an MEng or MSc degree in civil or transportation engineering with a UK equivalent 2:1 classification or above. Also, applicants with a background in transport analysis, risk assessment, statistics or applied maths are also encouraged to apply. The funding for this studentship is specifically for UK and EU applicants only. Outstanding, self-funded international applicants are able to apply for the PhD project. If English is not your first language, we require an IELTS score of 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

How to apply

Applications can be made through the Civil and Environmental Engineering course page. Please state the studentship title you are applying for in your application. You are required to send a cover letter explaining your interest in the project and your relevant qualifications, a CV, and the names and contact details of two references. 

Suitable interview dates will be directly arranged with you should you be shortlisted.

Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD

Application deadline

Contact details

Boulent Imam
05 AA 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689679
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