PhD Studentship in Pipe Wave Modeling For Acoustic Leak Detection University of Southampton, Dynamics Group United Kingdom

PhD Studentship:Pipe wave modelling for Acoustic Leak Detection


Dynamics Group


Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date: Wednesday 20 December 2017

Reference: ISVR-DYN-396

eakage from pipes is a major issue in the water industry, being an issue, not only in environmental terms, because of wasting an important natural resource, but also in economic and health terms, from both an environmental and cost perspective. UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) have identified leakage as one of their strategic priorities and have recently set up the Zero Leakage 2050 initiative, aiming to address the question “How will we achieve zero leakage in a sustainable way by 2050 ?”

The UK water companies delivered major reductions in leakage levels over the period 1995 to 2005. However the rate of reduction has slowed greatly over the past 10 years, and over the UK as a whole 22% of water produced is still lost through leakage. This is mainly because a large proportion of the networks still consist of cast iron and asbestos cement pipes laid many decades ago, but recent research has also shown that many new polyethylene networks are not leak-free.

Acoustic methods predominate in the armoury of available leak detection methods. However, their effectiveness can be limited by a number of factors, not least of which is sound knowledge of the propagation characteristics of all the major pipe wave propagation modes.

Considerable work has already been done to characterise the axisymmetric modes of propagation but little has been done on the fundamental bending wave.

The aim of this project is to examine all the important low-frequency modes of pipe propagation, in particular the bending mode. Specifically the following will be undertaken

•Analytical modelling of the pipe bending mode for a fluid filled pipe

•Analytical/numerical modelling of the pipe bending mode for a buried pipe and evaluation of the effects of the surrounding soil

•Laboratory and field experiments to support the above

The project will be a balance of theoretical and experimental work, with some of the experimental work being undertaken at outdoor test sites in the UK, provided by the industrial partner; it would suit a candidate with both strong analytical/numerical skills and an enthusiasm for experimental measurements. The successful candidate will be working within the Dynamics Group within the ISVR but will also be associated with the Mapping the Underworld programme ( , which includes multi-disciplinary researchers from a number of UK universities.


Due to the requirement to travel to UK test sites, a full UK driving licence is required.


If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Jen Muggleton, Dynamics research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 7624.


To apply, please use the following link and select Faculty of Engineering and the Environment.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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