(Structured PhD) Civil Engineering

College of Engineering & Informatics,
School of Engineering & Informatics

Course overview

The Structured PhD is a 4-year programme which offers added value to the core component of doctoral training. Students on this programme are offered disciplinary or dissertation specific modules, as well as generic and transferable skills designed to meet the needs of an employment market that is wider than academia.


The programme is flexible and student centred, as candidates choose their own pathways in consultation with their Supervisor and Graduate Research Committee.

Programmes available

PhD (full-time, four years)

  • New entrants may register for the programme from September to March each year
    The thesis remains central to the award of the PhD and is weighted at 330 ECTs.
  • Students select appropriate skills modules in consultation with their Supervisor and/or Postgraduate Research Committee as follows: At least 10 ECTs in two of the three skills categories, and an overall total of at least 30 ECTs

Skills Categories: (i) Problem Based Learning; (ii) Publication/Dissemination; (iii) Formal Training (from a range of Discipline-specific, Interdisciplinary and Generic modules)

Entry requirements

PhD—high Honours standard in the primary degree.

Areas of interest

Research activity spans a broad spectrum of civil engineering subjects, which include (but are not limited to) concrete, steel and timber structures, wind engineering, environmental engineering, highway engineering, geotechnics, earthquake engineering, building energy management, offshore and coastal engineering, construction management, advanced materials and computational mechanics. This topical and strategic research is funded by industrial partners and several national and international funding agencies, including the European Union (EU).  Some of the research is interdisciplinary and is aligned with the university's major research themes; for example, some academic staff work within research institutes such as the Environmental Change Institute, and the Ryan Institute for Marine Science research.

Researcher profiles

Dr. Piaras Ó hEachteirn (Head of Civil Engineering)
piaras.oheachteirn@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Design of structural steelwork; design of structural timber.

Professor Padraic O'Donoghue
padraic.odonoghue@nuigalway.ie 
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Areas of interest: computational methods, including the finite element method; structural analysis mechanics; materials; fluid-structure interaction; fatigue; damage and failure; integrity of pipelines and aircraft.

Dr. Michael Brennan
michael.brennan@nuigalway.ie   
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Flexible pavements; concrete pavements; bituminous materials; pavement design; pavement analysis; pavement management; geometric alignment and route location of highways; traffic engineering; road safety; traffic noise; transportation planning; airports.

Mr. Eamonn Cannon
eamonn.cannon@nuigalway.ie 
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Design of concrete structures; non-linear behaviour; composite structures; prestressed concrete; bridge deck behaviour; concrete technology; computer-aided learning; durability of concrete.

Dr. Eoghan Clifford 
eoghan.clifford@nuigalway.ie  
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Environmental Engineering; wastewater treatment processes; biofilm technology

Dr. Jamie Goggins 
jamie.goggins@nuigalway.ie  
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Structural engineering: structures consisting of steel, concrete, masonry, timber and composite materials.
Earthquake engineering: response of structures to earthquakes, using both force and displacement-based assessment approaches. Steel, concrete, masonry and composite materials.
Tall buildings: especially their performance during extreme loading such as earthquakes and wind.
Structural control and health monitoring: on-line damage detection and structural health monitoring using wavelet based time-frequency analysis.
Computational mechanics: numerical modelling; nonlinear analysis; time-history analysis; time-frequency (wavelet) analysis; tinite element analysis.
Energy: embodied energy in buildings and structures; modular buildings; energy efficient buildings; material; the performance of wind turbines; wave energy.

Dr. Annette Harte
annette.harte@nuigalway.ie  
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Mechanics of wood, engineered wood products and wood structures; Finite Element Analysis in Structural Mechanics & Civil Engineering; Analysis of Offshore Pipeline Systems; Optimal Design of Engineering Structures; High Performance Composite Materials.

Dr. Michael Hartnett
michael.hartnett@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Coastal, shelf and ocean modelling; hydrodynamics; water quality modelling; numerical and scale modelling; structural dynamics (offshore structures and train-bridge interactions).

Dr. Mark Healy
mark.healy@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Environmental engineering systems - constructed wetlands, sand filtration systems, SBBR systems. Modelling of unsaturated flow through porous media. Soil erosion and surface runoff. Composting. Biosolids. Anaerobic digestion.

Dr. Marcus Keane
marcus.keane@nuigalway.ie 
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Energy & Buildings:
Holistic Environmental & Energy Management in Buildings; Life Cycle Optimised Operation of Buildings: Life Cycle integrated tool sets to support integrated building energy simulation and building operation.

Dr. T.P. Mullarkey
thomas.mullarkey@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Computer modelling in coastal and offshore engineering, and of structural behaviour; visualisation; tensors applied to such problems.

Dr. Bryan McCabe
bryan.mccabe@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Geotechnical engineering: pile installation, group action in piles, reuse of existing foundations/ time-related effects on foundation capacity; ground improvement, stone columns, vibrated concrete columns, deep soil mixing; slope stability, in-situ testing and geotechnical instrumentation.

Dr. Stephen Nash
stephen.nash@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Coastal and marine engineering: coastal and estuarine processes; hydrodynamic circulation; water quality modelling; primary production modelling; biological modelling; high performance computing; applications of GIS to coastal engineering.

Dr. Gary Raftery 
gary.raftery@nuigalway.ie  
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Development of innovative hybrid structural members; Repair and rehabilitation techniques of civil infrastructure; Mechanics of wood, timber and engineered wood products; The use of advanced composite materials in the construction industry; Adhesives in civil engineering and durability of adhesive bonds; Finite element analysis for the analysis of structural mechanics

Dr. Liwen Xiao
liwen.xiao@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Environmental engineering: wastewater treatment; biofilm technology; nutrient removal; effects of forestry on water quality.

Dr. Xin Min Zhan
xinmin.zhan@nuigalway.ie
RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Water and wastewater treatment; waste management; environmental biofilm technology; adsorption; biofuels (biogas, biodiesel and bioethanol); environmentally sound nano materials. 

Find out more

Dr. Piaras O’hEachteirn—Head of Civil Engineering
T 353 91492 210
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