[Skip to content]

PhD Studentship (Sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation) - Integrated embedded sensing for LNG Storage Containers
NSIRC Degrees

PhD Studentship (Sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation) - Integrated embedded sensing for LNG Storage Containers

Applications are invited to undertake a PhD programme in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation.


The result of the risk assessment for LNG tanks is established in a quantitative approach. In order to remediate to this risk multiple actions were designed mainly acting on the design of the installation. The Normalised Safety Classification of LNG tank designs are presented in the literature and used by the operators as standard practice. It is expected, that the integrity level of the LNG storage vessel has influence on the risk to external population. Therefore the risk to external population and environment caused by the different LNG storage alternatives was calculated by means of a quantitative risk assessment.

Various different tank designs exist, either single, double or full integrity:

  • flat bottom tank
  • bullets   
  • sphere      

Codes and standards should be established to cover large scale storage of LNG in pressurized tanks. The proposed definitions for single, double and full integrity are applied to categorise the safety levels. FN-diagrams are also dressed.                              

The purpose of this project is to enhance design consideration when addressing the described risk through the integration of SHM methodologies in order to decrease the design and manufacturing costs.                               

TWI has developed extended analysis of AE for specific design in order to evaluate the potential use of the ultrasonics for crack initiation. This was shown to achieve early stage alarming on the potential leaking before the damage becomes critical. 


Project Outline

The project will design and integrate SHM strategy in order to improve the performance and cost through the use of different embedded sensing technologies. The enabling technology is a remote continuous condition monitoring based on a suite of Acoustic Emission and fibre Bragg grating (AE/FBG) sensors permanently mounted on the wall, whilst in operation.

The objectives of the project are:

  • To select the suitable sensors and algorithm.             
  • To develop pattern recognition based on similarity analysis and Euclidean distance.
  • To determine the signature of the healthy structure.
  • To identify deviations from the healthy signature.
  • To improve the ability to distinguish between valid signals change and defect detectability.

About the sponsor

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charity set up in 2012, which became fully operational in 2013, with a mission to enhance the safety of life and property and to advance public education in engineering-related subjects.  For more information about the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, its activities and latest news visit our website:  www.lrfoundation.org.uk


Projects will be based at NSIRC, a state-of-the-art postgraduate facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI in Cambridge. NSIRC is sponsored by TWI, BP and Lloyd’s Register Foundation and students will work to deliver industry relevant research.  PhDs will be supervised and awarded by one of our academic partners such as Brunel University London, Cambridge, Manchester, Loughborough, Birmingham, Leicester, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Leeds, Cranfield and Coventry. For more information about The National Structural Integrity Research Centre, visit  www.nsirc.co.uk

Candidate Requirements

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in mechanical, Electrical/Electronics or Civil/Structural Engineering, Material Science, Metallurgy or Physics. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply. Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.

Funding Notes

This project is funded by Lloyds Register Foundation, TWI and academic partners. The studentship will provide successful Home/EU students with a stipend of £16k/year and will cover the cost of tuition fees. Overseas applicants are welcome to apply, with total funding capped at £20k/year.

Data Protection Statement

By registering your application you agree that your details may be held, processed and disclosed within TWI for the sole purpose of recruitment (and subsequent employment if applicable) and for compliance with applicable laws and regulations to which TWI is subject to. We will never provide, share or sell your personal information to a third party.  TWI follow strict procedures in the storage of information and will retain the information you submit for recruitment for up to six months in case any questions arise in relation to the recruitment process. Thereafter, the information will be destroyed in a secure manner.

Apply for the course

Click here to apply for this course