Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-COFUND-CLEAR-Doc - PhD Position #CD21-39 "Levees protection against breaching during overtopping. Use of deep soil mixing as a reinforced technique. Case studies."

This job offer has expired

    Université Gustave Eiffel
    Computer scienceModelling tools
    Environmental scienceEarth science
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/03/2022 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Marne-La-Vallée
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions COFUND


After serious flooding disasters, new technologies have started to be considered to reinforce levees by surface facing by concrete or core construction by steel or deep mixing.

Dike overtopping generally starts at the lowest crest elevation or at a local dike discontinuity e.g. a bridge abutment. The shear stresses induced by the water flow over the downstream dike slope initiate the erosion process. Erosion starts if the induced shear stress exceeds the critical shear stress of the dike material. The soil particles are then set into motion and transported downstream. The dike erosion process may be either plane or spatial. The latter case normally occurs in nature and includes both vertical and lateral erosion. Focus is generally given on plane dike erosion as the basic erosion pattern. Reinforcement technique can be considered to face internal erosion and consequently limit the effect of overtopping on the existing levees.

Deep soil mixing technique is already a reinforcement technique used for internal erosion in France (Le Kouby et al., 2021), in Belgium (De Vos et al., 2019) and in Vietnam (Tran-Nguyen et al., 2018). Return on experience in France for internal erosion seems encouraging (Patouillard et al., 2019).

The Deep soil mixing presents numerous advantages (eco-friendly, easy and quick execution as well as low cost) that have greatly contributed to expand its domain of applications (soil improvement, pollution confinement or realization of structural elements). These new applications require a better understanding of the method and of the material. Quality (particularly homogeneity and continuity) and representativeness of the material are more and more investigated, as the scope of applications for Deep soil mixing widens with an ever increasing demand for better comprehension of the resulting material behavior, as well as development of methods of strength prediction.

The research work can be described as follows :

(1) State of the art : At first, a state of the art on the effects of cement on breaching due to overtopping and on the reinforced levees with cement will be carried out.

(2) Numerical modelling Software COMSOL, CESAR

(a) Non reinforced levee : stability before and after overtopping will be considered to reproduce existing case study with existing database.

(b) Levee Reinforced with deep soil mixing : optimise deep mixing reinforcement for internal erosion and overtopping cases.

(3) Experimental program :

(a) Non reinforced levee in an experimental canal, to allow for a systematic investigation of plane dike erosion : a simple model dike of trapezoidal shape consisting of homogenous sand or gravel was considered with a core of fine soil.

The erodibility will depend primarily on the grain size distribution, density and grain shape. No surface protection will be added to the model levee. The sollicitation will mainly rely on overtopping (i.e. no internal erosion or sliding) and the levee response will be governed by surface sediment erosion.

(b) Levee reinforced with deep soil mixing. Tests in hydraulic canal to propose optimized deep mixing reinforcement. Trench or simple/double columns system with different cement content and/or thickness to stabilize for mechanical stability and to avoid internal erosion will be tested.

Innovative construction method to reinforce levees with deep soil mixing could be proposed.

(c) Soil mixing materials : long term properties. The specificity of this material is that it mixes existing soils. Different mixing tools can be considered that will produce deep soil mixing materials that have to be studied for long term use. Cement type effect can be also discussed because the typical type for deep mixing is different in France (blended cement) and in Japan (high sulfate cement).

International Mobility:

 A 6-month secondment at University of Hiroshima (Japan). For more information, contact the PhD supervisor

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 dedicated 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

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.
  • Support service is available during every step of the application process by email: clear-doc@univ-eiffel.fr

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    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

International mobility: 6-month secondment at University of Hiroshima (Japan)

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

EURAXESS offer ID: 716468


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