Computational Mechanics for Extreme Conditions

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


As the demand for low carbon electricity increases, the working lifespan of many of the UK's civil nuclear power facilities has been extended. Extending the lives of these Advanced Gas cooled Reactors (AGRs) beyond their intended design life requires that the operational safety of these plants be rigorously assessed.

Due to the harsh operating environment inside the AGRs core, material degradation issues including creep and brittle fracture are commonly found in critical components such as coolant pipes and graphite moderator bricks. These components can also experience complex, dynamic behaviour under extreme conditions. It is essential that these problems be studied and modelled to a high degree of accuracy in order to ensure continued safe operation.

The proposed PhD aims to produce robust computational solutions to fracture, structural integrity and structural dynamics problems relating to various critical components found in AGRs. Utilising the MoFEM finite element code developed at the University of Glasgow, solutions to the aforementioned problems will be developed with improved accuracy over commercial finite element packages. The project will combine new advances in continuum mechanics, numerical methods to solve the resulting highly nonlinear governing equations, new advances in finite element technology and exploit the latest advances in scientific computing. This research is of high importance to the nuclear industry and will contribute to the UK's energy security.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517896/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2025
2442769 Studentship EP/T517896/1 30/09/2020 31/03/2024 Richard Olley