Projects

Many flows are affected by mixing instabilities such as Kelvin-Helmholtz, Richtmyer-Meshkov and Rayleigh-Taylor, arising at the interface of two stratified fluids of different density. In astrophysical plasmas, turbulent mixing layers (TMLs) are important in, for example, supernova remnants, the deceleration of relativistic jets and the surface layers of cold molecular clouds in the interstellar medium….
The decarbonisation of heat will be a critical part of the UK’s plans to meet the 80% CO2 reduction targets set out in the UK Climate Change Act. Current proposals include the use of electric based air and ground based heat pumps as well as the use of hydrogen in domestic boilers and cookers. The…
Current designs of the vast array of microfluidic flow systems used throughout biology, chemistry and engineering are based on processing small volumes of liquid in arrays of simple fluidic channels formed from combinations of regular channel geometries. Wider adoption of microfluidic technologies will require much more flexible and robust channel geometry optimisation methods which can…
Effective drill cooling is essential in order to ensure adequate tool life in critical applications. This project will develop new experimental and computational techniques for coolant channel design in wet machining and provide new fundamental knowledge and understanding of the performance of cryogenic fluids for targeted drill cooling. The student will spend periods at Sandvik…
We are all familiar with mould in showers and bathrooms, but where does this come from? There is increasing evidence that the shower plays a major role, but we have little understanding as to how microorganisms in water systems are dispersed into the environment and what risks this poses. This project aims to model the…
This project will address fundamental aspects of glacial dynamics arising from the anisotropies of its crystalline structure, ultimately informing efforts to predict the evolution of the Earth’s ice sheets, a problem of considerable societal importance. Our ability to predict future sea-level rise is currently limited by our ability to model the evolution of the Earth’s…
Understanding changes in weather extremes under climate change is recognised internationally as a problem of urgent international importance (e.g. the Grand Challenges of World Climate Research Programme). For Africa, where millions are vulnerable to extremes, there is also an urgent need for practical uptake of new information on these extremes. Extreme rainfall is expected to…
The project involves developing particle image velocimetry PIV, as a practical way of characterising gaseous turbulence. It involves seeding the gas with small particles of olive oil in an aerosol of very limited concentration. The turbulence is designed to be isotropic, in the central region of a fan-stirred pressure vessel, equipped with four windows for…
Understanding and forecasting airflow in enclosed/indoor environments is of great interest due to its close relationship to occupant’s safety, thermal comfort, and energy efficiency. Optimally placed air conditioning could increase the comfort of inhabitants. In hospitals, airflow can distribute germs and can pose a significant health hazard. Indoor airflow patterns can be very complex and…
a) Understanding the motion of Floating Production Storage and Offloading or FPSO units in high sea states is important for safe operations in the oil and gas industry. The challenge in predicting combined water-wave and FPSO interactions lies in the coupling of their dynamics, including the different interfaces, the free water surface, the wetted hull…
Modelling fluid-solid multiphase flows in environmental systems are complicated by the range of scales between those controlling turbulent suspension of particulate material and the size of the systems themselves (see the e.g. figure of seafloor dunes offshore San Francisco, USGS). In this PhD, the student will make a novel contribution across the entirety of the…
Spraying is ubiquitous and finds application within delivery of materials (e.g. paints, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, personal-care products) to surfaces (e.g. crops, fabrics, skin). The spraying process is complex and includes physics around (i) a breakup of a (formulated) liquid from a continuous stream on leaving the spray-nozzle into, (ii) discrete droplets (the spray), (iii) evaporation of…
Particles present in liquid dispersions may agglomerate to form larger fractal structures under various conditions. Such ‘flocs’ are ubiquitous in many industries and the natural environment, where their fluid properties can be altered dramatically in respects to discrete particles. In particular, the kinematics and associated fluid dynamics of settling, flocculated suspensions are poorly understood, where…
CFD Simulations of large scale meteorology are increasingly important in understanding weather phenomena, but the scale of the simulations often makes manual interpretation difficult.  Recently, it has become possible to analyse simulation indirectly through topological analysis of the simulation data, as for example by detecting toroidal structures representing vortex rings (see image).  This project will…
Liquid jets are widely encountered from printing to ‘big industry’ which use jets for a range of applications including decontaminating surfaces (buildings, reactors etc.). In most applications Rayleigh instability of the liquid jet promotes breakup of the jet into sub-millimetre droplets which then impact on the solid surface resulting in either droplet spreading, rebounding or…
The design of hydraulic infrastructure such as reservoir spillways, weirs and other critical structures is an area of significant importance from a safety and cost perspective. There is a large programme of work to upgrade existing infrastructure to ensure they are resilient in the face of changing climate and extreme weather events. Physical models have…
The turbulent behaviour of clouds is responsible for many of the uncertainties regarding the timing and intensity of precipitation in weather and climate models. One of the fundamental problems here is that microphysical processes are essentially Lagrangian: they happen along trajectories of the flow (for small particles) or fall trajectories We have recently developed a…
We propose an exciting PhD opportunity to develop the research foundation for this PhD to make sure all objectives can be achieved. The PhD project comprises the following main research objectives and tasks: – The final objective is the creation of a professional guidance document on flood control for the two industrial partners, Mott MacDonald…
In the manufacture of complex formulated liquid products the incorporation and mixing  of surfactants and polymers can lead to significant challenges. This is due to the complex nature of the phase change that the surfactant or polymer undergoes and the transient material properties of the dissolving material. The material are often soft solids with a non-newtonian rheology…
Spray drying is a widely used unit operation for the manufacture of particulate products in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It is a one-step process for converting pumpable feed into dried powder in a continuous unit operation. The desired powder quality attributes such as narrow particle size distribution, good flowability, low residual moisture, controlled…
Safe and efficient recovery of hydrocarbons is of paramount importance in the oil and gas industry. One of the main obstacles to successful oil production is internal pipeline corrosion, which can cause catastrophic and unexpected failures, leakages, down-time and severe environmental damage. The natural formation of an iron carbonate (FeCO3) corrosion product on the inside…