Madagascar is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to cyclones; for example, cyclone Enawo (2017) caused 81 deaths and destroyed over 300,000 buildings, including 38,000 homes. Non-engineered traditional structures make up 86.5% of houses, and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are working to train local people to improve the wind resistance of their homes. This guidance has improved resilience to cyclones; however, NGOs lack a detailed understanding of how these construction materials and systems behave, and therefore how effective their guidance is. This project will assess the resilience of traditional structures across Madagascar. It is an innovative application of a holistic vulnerability model, taking into account the true structural capacity of local building systems, the current and future climate and the capacity of society to respond and adapt to cyclones. This will be studied by an interdisciplinary research consortium UK, Kenya and Madagascar.
Your role as a structural engineering Research Associate will be to measure and model the strengths of local timber and earth building materials and systems, working alongside the project engineers, climatologists, disaster risk management specialists and NGO representatives. Experimental measurements will include tests carried out on sites in Madagascar, testing connections and components in these predominantly timber structures and their foundations. You will develop representative tests on similar materials and systems in the structural engineering laboratory here at the University of Edinburgh, in order to measure aspects of performance which can’t be determined on site. You will then use conventional design methods to determine the wind speed at which critical structural components are likely to fail. You will also be expected to prepare results for publication in leading academic journals and to present findings at international academic conferences.
This post is offered on a full time, fixed term basis for 18 months.
Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum
Closing date is 8 November 2019 at 5pm GMT