Projects

Please note that the PhD projects listed are examples of projects offered to current CDT students and as such are not generally available to prospective students.

The jet flames (an example in Figure 1), is of practical importance in gas turbines, engines, furnaces and hazardous environments. In a flare stack with a cross flow of air normal to the fuel flow, the reaction rate of the jet flame initially is increased by the air flow, but subsequently it sharply diminishes, due…
Sequentially stretched film casting is an essential industrial process for the manufacture of thin polymer films used for a wide range of packaging, imaging, electronic, photovoltaic and other industrial applications. In order to maintain the integrity of the manufactured film while maximising recycle content, it is critical that the polymer melt is filtered of all…
Computational scientists are typically not expert programmers and thus have to work with easy to use programming languages.  However, they have very high-performance requirements due to their experimental setup and large datasets and have to rely on parallel computing machines for tasks like simulation runs. Unfortunately, the increasing specialisation and complexity in computing hardware have…
Have you ever felt uncomfortable or suffocated in crowds in a shopping mall? Do you know how fast an airborne contagious disease can spread in the atrium of a hospital? The indoor air quality is crucial and sometimes life-threateningly important. Being able to understand and predict airflows in enclosed environments not only lowers physical dangers…
Convection in rocky or icy planetary mantles controls the evolution of the terrestrial planets and many of the moons in the solar system. This convection is intimately linked to planetary habitability: it determines whether surface material participates in the global-scale dynamics (as on Earth) or remains isolated (as on Venus) and also determines the viability…
This project is to use data-driven methods and machine learning to derive reduced models for fluid flows. In particular, we shall look at models for heat transport. Detailed fluid and plasma simulation is often so computationally expensive that it restricts the capability to design and control experiments. We shall use data-driven models and machine learning…
The harmful impact of atmospheric pollution on human health in East and Southeast Asia is widely acknowledged, and will be increasingly important as mega-cities continue to be realized. Computational methods have advanced to the state where numerical weather forecasting methods coupled to atmospheric chemistry models are being applied to study and predict the interactions between…
This project will address an open problem regarding the locomotion of biological swimmers, a problem of widespread importance throughout the animal kingdom. While many fish swim in water, many biological swimmers locomote through complex, non-Newtonian fluids, often characterized as viscoelastic (such as gels) or viscoplastic (such as mud). In fact, biological swimmers naturally adapt their…
Our ability to confidently predict the safety of a nuclear waste repository depends on our ability to correctly model the interaction of fluids residing in the host rock surrounding the repository and the potential for fluid flow to bring radionuclei from the repository to the biosphere. The most commonly applied simulations of fluid in heterogeneous…
Microfluidic devices are promising to revolutionise the biomedical industry from rapid disease diagnostics and modelling to high-throughput drug screening and assessment. Much of the engineering of these next generation devices is done through experimental approaches and analysis. However, there is considerable scope to develop, apply and analyse new mathematical models of microfluidic devices at a…
Exciting recent developments in Earth Science have instigated a paradigm shift in understanding the role of mush accumulation — where rock exists as a combination of fluid magma and solid `grains’ — in the crust and within volcanic systems. This project presents an extremely timely opportunity to address a series of new fluid-mechanical problems relating…
This is a mathematical and theoretical project which will explore the relationship between severe storms and large-scale circulation in the atmosphere. The project will exploit the new generation of numerical modelling products, in the form of very high resolution atmospheric simulations with an operational weather prediction model. These model simulations will be used to test…
This project aims to develop new models to simulate the risk of airborne infection in healthcare environments and the effectiveness of control strategies. Airborne infection is a serious concern for respiratory infections such as tuberculosis and influenza and opportunist pathogens in hospitals. Quantifying risks enables appropriate control strategies, both in terms of engineering approaches such…
The advent of 3D printing with metal powders has opened up a new era in manufacturing technology and is driving demand for fine, highly spherical metal powders that is increasing by > 50% per annum. These powders are manufactured by using supersonic gas jets to disrupt a stream of molten metal, which then solidify in…
Convection within Earth’s fluid core generates its planetary magnetic field; spatial and temporal variations of the geomagnetic field can thus be used to study the dynamics of this otherwise inaccessible region. Seismic, geomagnetic, and geodynamic observations indicate that lateral variations in heat flow are imposed on the core at the top, and possibly bottom, of…
Earth’s jet streams control many features of weather and climate in the extratropics including in the UK and Europe. Most winter weather extremes in these regions are driven by the jet stream. For example, the “Beast from the East” that brought severe wintry weather to the UK in February 2018 was associated with a disrupted…
There are tens of thousands of kilometres of transport infrastructure in Great Britain. To prevent flooding, maintain performance of railway track and road foundations, and to reduce the risks of slope instability in associated embankments and cuttings, drainage infrastructure is also installed. Most drains comprise coarse granular material of high permeability, and may also include…
The movement of Earth’s liquid core is responsible for generating our planetary magnetic field, yet we know very little about its structure and dynamics because direct observation is not possible.   Recent high-resolution satellite data have enabled the identification of a jet-stream at high-latitude within the core. This jet may play an important role in the…
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations can assist in treatment planning for cardio/cerebrovascular interventions. This  project involves the development of fully-automatic images-to-simulation workflows that can be translated to clinical practice by developing new CFD methods that can be applied directly on the medical images, without need for manual vessel segmentation and volume meshing. The flow equations…
Understanding the effect of 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 the inhabitants. In hospitals, airflow can distribute germs and can pose a significant health hazard. Indoor airflow patterns can be very…
The two images above show large-scale flows structures in the polar regions of Jupiter (L) and Saturn (R). These arise from the interaction between convection and rotation in the stratified outer regions of the planets – regions in which physical properties such as viscosity vary strongly with position. This project will investigate a simplified model…
Density currents, driven by the density contrast between two fluids, are an important class of geophysical flow, pertinent to atmospheric, terrestrial, deep marine and inner earth environments, yet their mechanics remain poorly understood. Critical to understanding density currents is the turbulent motion of the flow, dictating the distribution of flow density via turbulent diffusion and…
Controlled fusion seeks to harness the power of the Sun on Earth. The aim is to confine hot plasma in a toroidal device known as a tokamak so that fusion reactions can occur and the process can become self-sustaining.  However, various plasma phenomena cause instabilities and confinement losses. The stability problem is most severe at…
Nature and industry abound with examples of highly porous, fibrous materials embedded in a viscous fluid. Examples include the cellular cytoskeleton, scaffolds for tissue engineering, and medical filters, to name just a few. Recent simulations have demonstrated that the coupling between the solid (fibre) phase and the fluid can produce unexpected behaviour that could be…
Hyperloop is a newly proposed mode of transportation where vehicles move within a tube held at vacuum-type conditions at speeds of up to 1200km/h.  Currently, the most well-known embodiment of Hyperloop is that proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, and presents a step-change in transport engineering, allowing people to move vast distances in short periods…
Direct numerical simulation coupled to an interface tracking technique, for small numbers of particles, and Lagrangian particle tracking, for more realistic numbers of particles, will be used to investigate the behaviour of particles in fluid flows. The impact of behavioural modification techniques (such as the use of plasticisers, fluid pH and density changes, and responsive/smart…
Convection-driven flows influenced by rotation are ubiquitous in planetary interiors, including the liquid cores of terrestrial bodies, the outer regions of gas giants and the convective regions of cool stars. These flows generate global-scale magnetic fields that can be observed remotely and hence provide unique insight into otherwise inaccessible regions of planets and stars. However,…
Heart failure post myocardial infarction is a worldwide massive burden with an anticipated prevalence increase of 46% before 2030. The main cause of heart failure is the change in LV shape (i.e. remodelling) due to damaged muscle causing an inefficiency of the pumping action. Very little is known on the underpinning mechanisms of LV remodelling…
The design of hydraulic infrastructure and in particular reservoir spillways is an area of significant importance from a safety and economic perspective (consider recent failure incidents at Toddbook, UK 2019 and Oroville, US 2017). There is a large and costly programme of work to upgrade existing infrastructure to ensure resilience in the face of changing…
In August 2013, preliminary tests were undertaken in which a working proof-of-principle was established of the novel wave-energy device, in a 1.2m by 0.2m x 0.2m tank, with a hand-driven wavemaker, a wave-activated buoy moving in the vertical, and by using deconstructed Faraday/shaking lights to create a linear direct-drive generator. The experiments were built and…
Infrastructure is the foundation of the UK and worldwide societal and economic development. With changes in climate, demography and technological needs, it is necessary to develop strategies for infrastructural resilience in a changing world. A critical threat to concrete is CO2, and when CO2 enters concrete it reacts, a phenomenon known as carbonation. Considering the…
Droplets are a fascinating and challenging area of fluid dynamics. Their interactions with each other, with surfaces, films and particles, are important to numerous natural and industrial processes, from atmospheric aerosols to additive manufacturing.  Yet, whilst they have received much academic attention in the past, the field remains very active, with ongoing advances in both…
This timely and interdisciplinary project will be applying a series of advanced techniques in flow mechanics in order to shed light on glacier dynamics strongly contributing to sea level rise. More specifically, this project seeks a better understanding of the processes that control and lead to mass loss at ice terminations. The fundamental interactions between…