Postgraduate research project

Mechanical effects in the surf zone - in situ electrochemical sensing

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

The pollution of the natural environment with plastics and their subsequent role in the ecosystems, is of concern. Plastics are ubiquitous materials which by design are extremely chemically stable and physically robust. However, understanding their lifecycle in the oceans is part of a wider effort to assess their impact. The breakdown of plastic in the ocean is different depending on the location.

For example, mechanical effects are thought to be significantly increased in breaking waves in the surf zone where plastics are known to concentrate. The aim of this project is to study the effect of particle (sand) impact in the surf zone on surfaces including common plastics with the aim of understanding the conditions necessary to age and cause damage to these materials. This will involve both lab systems and sensors deployed in the surf zone to characterize the conditions within this environment.

For full project details visit the Inspire project page.


  • Dr Peter Birkin (University of Southampton)
  • Dr Guy Denuault (University of Southampton)
  • Dr Hachem Kassem (University of Southampton)