Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-19 "Bridges in urban area in the climate change context: effect of combined traffic and scour action (a French Japanese comparison)"

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    Université Gustave Eiffel
    EngineeringCivil engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Marne-La-Vallée
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND


River bridges are essential elements of use planning for cities. They are exposed to deterioration processes linked to seasonal or exceptional stresses, including hydraulic phenomena such as scouring. Their weakening or their failure lead to a safety issue for people and property, environmental risks, profit loss for society and network cuts (transport, water, gas, electricity, Internet…). Climate change is likely to increase both the probability and magnitude of flood events, which will in turn increase the intensity of deterioration mechanisms by scouring (flash-floods or long high or low water periods). Moreover, some scour disasters occur not only by the highest water level, but also by lower for example in case when the duration is long and/or water level fluctuates.

In that context, the thesis subject will deal with the question of bridges weakening by the combination of scouring slow processes and traffic loads in urban areas. It will propose a multi-scale and multi-disciplinary experimental approach both in France and in Japan in several steps:

1/ Data collection. A first comparative study will be conducted on structures, environments and climate database for a selection of bridges over rivers in urban areas between France and Japan.

2/ Database analysis.

2a/ Hydraulics extrapolation. Based on these data that can be open, extrapolation methods and verification of (non-)stationarity will be proposed to asset changes in hydraulic actions (due climate change) and to compare with load models (Eurocode 1 in Europe). Possible evolution of climate in France and comparison with situation in Japan will be particularly useful.

2b/ Structural analysis. Based on discussion with owners and technical centres (especially SNCF for France, RTRI for Japan), a special focus will be conducted on the most threatened and/or most comparable situations between France and Japan in a climate change context especially considering high vulnerable situation like shallow foundation or timber piles foundation. Time effects and traffic loads will be also considered.

3/ Multiscale experimental approach.

3a/ Study on real sites. Depending on opportunities (ongoing project dedicated to the monitoring of structures in France and in Japan), study on real sites will be conducted with detail insights in multidisciplinary approach: real site inputs, river bed materials ( incl. grading characteristics) and bathymetry around structures, hydraulic conditions (river gradient, water height, velocities…), vibration measurements on structure for both evaluation of traffic and as indicators of structural weakening due by scour.

3b/ On scale multidisciplinary models. After the definition of soils, structures and hydraulics conditions, special devices will be used and/or developed to characterize and follow the evolution of interactions between (all or part of) soils - water - structures - traffic load. These complex approaches will consist in the most scientific and basic developments of the PhD subject. It will be in the continuity of the last experimental developments on these subjects done by University Gustave Eiffel and University of Tokyo: suffusion and cyclic loading tests; erosion tests associated with flow-structural interactions; model test with cyclic loading on structures above « weakened » soils; model situation in flume (on scale modelling)… These tests will enable the characterisation of the evolution of the structural behaviour/performance of bridges in various conditions such as imposed by climate change.

3c/ Numerical or statistical aspects. Depending on opportunities and onother ongoing works (PhD or Master students), comparisons with numerical or statistical approaches would be conducted.

4/ Feeding or extrapolation of statistical reliability models. Combination of on site, experimental and statistical data both on the resistance (structure, new or weakened) and the solicitation (hydraulic actions, as in the load models, measured or simulated based on climate change assumptions) will enable to better asset the scour risk on urban river bridges in consideration of climate change and ultimately enable better preventive maintenance methods.

More Information


  • High-quality doctoral training rewarded by a PhD degree, delivered by Université Gustave Eiffel.
  • Access to cutting-edge infrastructures for research & innovation.
  • Appointment for a period of 36 months based on a salary of 2 700 € (gross salary per month).
  • Job contract under the French labour legislation in force, respecting health and safety, and social security: 35 hours per week contract, 25 days of annual leave per year.
  • International mobility will be mandatory.
  • An international environment supported by the adherence to the European Charter & Code.
  • Access to dedicate’d CLEAR-Doc trainings with a strong interdisciplinary focus, together with a Career development Plan.

Eligibility criteria

  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree. At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career (career breaks excluded) and not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. Career breaks refer to periods of time where the candidate was not active in research, regardless of his/her employment status (sick leave, maternity leave etc). Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account.
  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline.
  • Applicants must be available to start the programme on schedule (around 1st October 2022).

Selection process

Please refer to the Guide for Applicants available on the CLEAR-Doc website.

Additional comments

  • The First step before applying is contacting the PhD supervisor. You will not be able to apply without an acceptation letter from the PhD supervisor.
  • Please contact the PhD supervisor for any additional detail on job offer.
  • There are no restrictions concerning the age, gender or nationality of the candidates. Applicants with career breaks or variations in the chronological sequence of their career, with mobility experience or with interdisciplinary background or private sector experience are welcome to apply.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Good


  • At the time of the deadline, applicants must be in possession or finalizing their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree.
  • At the time of recruitment, applicants must be in possession of their Master’s degree or equivalent/postgraduate degree which would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.

Specific Requirements

A 6 months internship will be offered at the University of Tokyo (Japan).

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Université Gustave Eiffel
5, Boulevard Descartes

EURAXESS offer ID: 716423


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