PhD Studentship at ISVR: Hydrant Dynamics for Acoustic Leak Detection

Closing Date
1 April 2021

Project Description

Acoustic methods predominate in the armoury of available leak detection methods. However, the effectiveness of conventional leak-noise correlators is very poor on trunk mains for a number of reasons, especially the lack of sufficiently closely spaced access points at which conventional sensors can be placed.

Acoustic methods predominate in the armoury of available leak detection methods. However, their effectiveness is restricted for plastic pipes due to the high attenuation of the acoustic signals. One of the reasons for this is that much of the acoustic signal can be “lost” when travelling from the pipe to the detection sensor located (usually) on a hydrant. Recent measurements suggest that a resonance of the pipe system at the points where the sensors are attached (usually a hydrant), can have a profound effect on the bandwidth of the measured leak noise.

The aim of this project is to investigate hydrant dynamics, so that new guidelines can be given for sensor numbers, type and positioning and hydrant design. In particular the following will be addressed

  • Theoretical modelling of vibrational wave propagation in hydrants (analytical and numerical)
  • Laboratory measurements on simplified hydrants
  • Laboratory and field measurements on real hydrants

The project, undertaken with the support of UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) and the UK water companies, will be a balance of theoretical and experimental work. The theoretical work will comprise analytical and numerical modelling of elastic waves in the pipe and hydrant. The experimental work will be undertaken on campus in the ISVR laboratories, at the University’s Future Towns Innovation Hub at Chilworth Science Park and at live test sites provided by UKWIR members.

The successful candidate will be part of a wider group within the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research seeking to meet the challenges of the UKWIR industry initiative ‘Zero Leakage 2050’

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Jen Muggleton, Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, Email:

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing Date: Applications should be received no later than 01 April 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: Full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online, please select the academic session 2021/22 “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Dr Jen Muggleton under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:

Posted on 25th October 2020 in Sensors, Job Opportunities in Acoustics