School of Computing and Engineering

Lap lengths and shear

Primary supervisor: Dr Ali Bahadori-Jahromi

Start dates: January, May and September of each academic year

Duration: This is a three-year position.

Research context

Research at the University of West London lives in an ecosystem of interdisciplinary research clusters. This PhD position is based in the School of Computing and Engineering.This research focuses on lap lengths in reinforced concrete. 

Over the past few decades, design rules have consistently increased lengths required for laps between reinforcing bars in reinforced concrete slabs, beams and other elements to the extent that the buildability and competitiveness of reinforced concrete structures is being seriously compromised. Current rules for tension laps are based on bond tests which use unrealistic constant moment, zero shear specimens. Yet there is evidence to suggest that shear greatly increases the ability of tensile forces to be transferred. This project would investigate this phenomenon in order to suggest design guidelines.

Research goal

This research concentrates on understanding bond models (Tepfers) and then on how shear might affect bond and tension transfer. This means combination of experimental work and FE modelling of the lap mechanism. 

Candidate profile

Applicants will be expected to hold a good first degree (first or upper second class) and a Masters degree (or equivalent) in Civil or Mechanical Engineering. Potential candidates should have experience of finite element (FE) simulation. Confidence in FE packages like ANSYS and LUSAS will be advantageous.

All applicants for whom English is not their first language must also demonstrate their English language proficiency through evidence of IELTS at overall 7 (with 6.5 in all four skills) or by providing access to MA/MSc chapters or published work.

Further information

For general enquiries about the application process visit the Graduate School pages.

Questions regarding academic aspects of the project should be directed to