Projects: 2015

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 propelling nozzles of a high-bypass jet engine convert the internal energy of a hot and highly pressurised gas into kinetic energy to produce thrust. A well designed exhaust nozzle will maximise the thrust, by accelerating the gas to a sonic velocity at the nozzle exit, while minimising drag and weight. The subsequent jet represents…
Turbomachinery plays a vital role in almost all industrial sectors. They are used in changing the state of working fluids or transporting them in pumps or compressors, extracting energy (gas turbines) and creating propulsion (aircraft jet engines). Developers have long used computers to accurately simulate internal or external aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, thermal and structural state,…
A very recent fatigue collapse of an inclined stranded cable of the Sabo footbridge has left unanswered questions regarding its underlying origins. Vortex shedding of the cable, which was initially suspected to be the cause, is nominally thought of being severely weakened due to the stranded section and the inclination. Thus, buffeting, galloping or some…
The Earth’s liquid core is a very remote place indeed – we know relatively very little about its structure and dynamics because direct observation is not possible. In the last few decades, there has been mounting evidence of so-called torsional waves, inferred through movement of the magnetic field with which the waves interact. However, the…
Many industrial processes, such as cyclones, spray dryers and jet mills, contain particle laden swirling airflows. In these systems the particles are ‘centrifuged’ to the external cylindrical wall and the collision of particles with this wall is critical to the dispersion of the particles and consequently the performance of the systems. The ability of multi-phase…
Convection within the Earth’s fluid core generates the planetary magnetic field; spatial and temporal variations of the geomagnetic field can thus be used to gain insight into 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…
Each year tropical cyclones cause enormous amounts of damage due to their destructive winds, heavy precipitation and their effects on the sea. Two particularly intense tropical cyclones have recently affected the Philippines. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan killed over 6,300 people and caused £1.8 billion in total damage. In December of the following year, Typhoon Hagupit…
Sharks are highly efficient long-distance swimmers based on several hundred million years of evolution. Shark biomimetics (‘learning from nature’) offers the possibility of optimising drag reduction in other systems through understanding the fluid dynamics of such drag reduction in sharks. Much previous work has focused on riblets on sharks and in particular the optimal width…
Currents, driven by a density difference from the ambient surroundings, 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 such ‘density currents’ is the turbulent motion of the flow, which dictates the distribution of flow density via turbulent…
Large woody debris in rivers has important effects on biogeochemical processes and subsequent ecosystem functioning. Recently, environmental policies have been implemented that encourage reintroduction of woody debris to improve nutrient attenuation and support fish and invertebrate diversity. However, many aspects of how woody debris affects river flow are not yet well understood. This project will…
Accurate prediction of (rotating) convection is important in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP). Convection is also coupled to the phase changes of water in the atmosphere and, hence, the notoriously difficult prediction of cloud dynamics and precipitation. The first aim of the project is to consider numerical modelling of convection under strong rotation. Both spectral and…
Ventilation of buildings by passive buoyancy and wind driven mechanisms is often exploited to maximize the displacement of contaminants so that good levels of indoor air quality and thermal comfort can be maintained at a minimal energy cost. Classical quasi-steady fluid dynamics approaches are commonly used to estimate wind driven bulk flow rates and ignore…
This project will collect and analyse new field observations of the Indian Monsoon system, in order to develop new dynamical models of the monsoon circulation. The Indian Monsoon controls the livelihoods of nearly a billion people. Currently our weather and climate prediction models have substantial biases for the region, and forecasts are unreliable, largely because…
Assessment of external spaces is of primary importance due to the close interaction between, and use by, people of both internal and external spaces. A semi-external space may be defined as a buffer zone placed between these two spaces. This buffer zone allows the human body to embrace external ambient conditions before being fully exposed…
The main objectives of the proposed research is to develop fully coupled multiphysics models to provide the capability of addressing the issues that arise from the Underground Coal Gastification operation and subsequent CO2 storage. In particular, the proposed study will utilize the unique advantages of conduction heat transfer in a Multiphysics model to simulate the…
The overall aim of the proposed research is to predict the effects of corrosion and erosion for pipeline assurance using both theoretical simulation and experimental measurement. The university has an outstanding research records on the pipeline corrosion theory, measurement and application, CFD modelling for fluid flow, particle/pollutant-laden fluid flows and heat and mass transfer, and…
Transmission through infectious aerosols is a well-recognised route of infection for a number of diseases including TB, measles, SARS and influenza. Despite evidence for airborne transmission, many of the mechanisms that govern the transmission process are poorly understood. This includes the very first stage where the infectious aerosol is formed and released. From a human…
This project will combine Large-Eddy Simulations (LES) with the time-resolved high-speed Particle-Image Velocimetry (PIV) of turbulent flows in a reciprocating internal combustion engine. While it is still common that in the engineering practice, the turbulence is modelled with either two-equations models, e.g. ubiquitous k-epsilon model, or with the approaches based on transport equations for individual…
High pressure gas atomization (HPGA) is a commercial process for the manufacture of metal powders in which supersonic gas jets are used to disrupt a stream of molten metal into a fine spray of droplets. The interaction of the supersonic jets leads to the formation of a Mach disk below the atomization nozzle which increases…
Underwater landslides generate some of the largest and most dangerous sedimentary flows in the world. These flows may cause catastrophic damage to infrastructure in their path such as telecommunications cables (which carry 95% of international traffic) and petroleum installations (Chevron recently invested ~$3,000,000,000 to protect one 140km-long stretch of pipeline). For a typical landslide a…
There has been a massive growth in the area of printed electronics – where electronic circuits and devices are printed onto the supporting substrate using, amongst others, techniques such as inkjet or 3D printing. This has created new technologies such as wearable computing, sensor and diagnostic devices that integrate with humans and flexible and lightweight…
Desired Impinging jets are used in a wide range of process engineering applications such as tunnelling operations, paint spraying and cavitation drilling. Liquid jets are also used as a method to estimate sediment strength in natural environment studies; from predicting attrition in waste reservoir outlets to measuring long term bed-slip in estuaries. Related is the…
Heat and mass loss at the edge of magnetically confined plasmas is seen to be associated with the intermittent ejection of filaments of denser and hotter plasma from the centre. There is an extensive programme of experimental work planned at Culham from 2017 onwards to investigate the behaviour of these structures, together with much historical…
On earth, and every solid planetary body studied in this solar system, geophysical flows sculpt the landscape in environments including rivers, glaciers, deserts, deltas, shallow seas and the deep oceans. A near ubiquitous feature of such flows is that sediment transport produces features such as ripples and dunes, i.e., bedforms. Bedforms are important because their…
Non-spherical particles in fluid flows are encountered in both natural and industrial environments. The relevance of non-spherical particles to the flow properties of complex fluids has often been overlooked with preference frequently given to the orientationally simpler spherical particles. The experimental program will study the fluid dynamics of non-spherical particles (cubes, rods and needles) in…
Historically, weirs were used to control the water level of rivers to facilitate navigation, permit extraction, prevent sea water intrusion or to power watermills. In lowland British rivers, weirs and the reaches upstream and downstream of them now provide significant niche habitats in environs that would otherwise display minimal downstream and cross-stream variations in velocities,…