Development of novel cement-bentonite mixtures for more durable low permeability barriers

  • Full Time
  • cardiff,UK
  • Applications have closed
  • Full Time
  • cardiff,UK
  • Applications have closed

Website cardiff University

About the Project

3 years full time. Available start dates 1st October 2021, 1st January 2022, 1st April 2022, 1st July 2022.

Low permeability cutoff walls are extensively used to interrupt the contaminant migration in land remediation and landfill projects. The current specification for cement-bentonite cutoff walls is mainly based on the use of high-quality bentonite and compliance of early-age engineering performance. Nevertheless, this natural resource is scarce, and bentonite does not remain intact under highly alkaline conditions created by cement hydration or under extended exposure of contaminated groundwater. Climate change will likely exacerbate the deterioration of the cutoff wall performance due to intensified wet-dry cycles and CO2 attack.

This project is dedicated to investigating the interaction between cement and bentonite and devise novel methods to improve the compatibility of the two. Specifically, the development of novel cementitious mixtures and bentonite modification will be tested and evaluated for contaminant migration under aggressive environmental conditions. The aim is to achieve better long-term durability for cement-bentonite barriers, leading to reduced risks in contaminant leaking and enhanced sustainability of the system.

The successful candidate will be based at School of Engineering, Cardiff University, and will be part of the Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC), an internationally renowned research group in the areas of waste management and ground engineering.

Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or a MSc degree in an area of Civil and Environmental Engineering or Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. Knowledge of cementitious materials and clay minerals are desirable. Previous laboratory experience would be advantageous but not essential.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

Contact for further information

Please contact Dr. Fei Jin ([email protected]) to informally discuss this opportunity

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( ) including;

·        an upload of your CV

·        a personal statement/covering letter

·        two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

·        Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of 1st October 2021, 1st January 2022, 1st April 2022 or 1st July 2022.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select “I will be applying for the advertised project, reference FJ-CW-2021

Deadline for applications

01/02/2022. We may however close this opportunity earlier if a suitable candidate is identified.

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