Arnab Chakraborty

Why did you choose to do a PhD at the University of Leeds?

My proposal for PhD is very well acknowledged and supported by the Faculty and School of Civil Engineering. Also, the University of Leeds suits me best due to its location as I can continue my full time employment at the same time as my research.

Tell us about your research

As part of my work, I often need to assess Masonry Arches for their change of use to suit new infrastructure. These arches are more than 150 years old adding significant historical values. Restoring and reusing these arches are not only cost effective; they also offer excellent sustainable solution. Existing assessment methods lack defects modelling and it is difficult to predict dynamic behaviour and residual life. I wish to undertake finite-discrete element modelling backed up by full scale tests to offer reliability to the analysis and assessment of Masonry Arches.

Why have you chosen to do a PhD part-time rather than full-time?

I would struggle to support my family while doing a full-time PhD. The primary advantage of part-time study is, I can continue with my work.

How do you manage working with a part-time PhD?

My supervisors are extremely cooperative. I attend my bi-monthly reviews during late afternoon or even at weekends. Also the University’s virtual desktop allows me to work from my home.

What is your favourite part of doing your research at Leeds?

My literature review; after spending significantly long time in the industry I have realised the time-lag that exists between research and industry practices. Not very often the industry keeps pace with the advancements of research.

What are your ambitions for the future?

After successfully completing my PhD, I would look to create a bridge between the industry practitioners and the academia. Unlike other engineering fields, Civil engineering industry rarely focuses on research and innovations when compared to Pharmaceutical, Automobiles, IT. Embracing R&D as part of the business will offer significant economy and efficiency contributing enormous saving to global treasury.

Do you have any advice to anyone considering coming to Leeds?

Definitely expect to get the best, but well prepared to offer the best in you too!