Projects: 2016

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 project will model the stratigraphic architecture of evolving seafloor channel networks through delivery of 3 key research goals: Development of reduced complexity short-time-scale models of turbidity current flow through submarine channels, modified by overspill. Prediction of overspill-driven long-time-scale channel evolution to avulsion. Development of process-based channel networks models that enable differentiation of internally-driven (autogenic)…
The majority of energy consumed by the electromechanical and digital infrastructure that makes up the Internet is converted in to heat. Effective removal of this heat has become core business for a number of technology companies. The Dutch based company, Asperitas, has a unique solution that is based on dense immersion of high powered microelectronics…
This is a combined experimental and flow modelling study of the deposition of fluids onto flexible substrates. It is in collaboration with Coty Ltd, a world-leading beauty products manufacturer, who are interested in understanding the fundamental flow mechanisms controlling the deposition of beauty products such as a mascara. The student would spend time down at…
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….
Next generation Airbus aircraft are likely to utilise natural laminar flow (NLF) wing designs which can significantly reduce skin friction drag and therefore fuel burn. However, during take-off the wing leading edge can accumulate various debris including dead insects. This contamination increases local roughness and drastically reduces the effectiveness of NLF. This research will investigate…
Particles in suspension may agglomerate to form large flocs. These flocs may have different settling velocities than their parent particle, and thus significantly effect particle sedimentation and transport. However, despite their importance in industry and environment, the kinematics of settling, flocculating suspensions is poorly understood, where associations with entrained gases create further complexities. Of increasing…
Inkjet printing requires the precise generation and deposition of very small drops of liquid. It is widely used in graphical printing and is rapidly developing as a manufacturing technology. The processes of jetting and drop formation is strongly affected by fluid and surface rheology, which may be complex, particularly under the extreme conditions of high…
Long term reliable measurement of river flows is crucial for water resource and flood management. Historically, flows are derived from measured water levels at a river gauging station, however, the setup and long term maintenance of river gauges can be costly and coverage is lacking for much of the globe. Satellite remote sensing of river…
Convection in rocky or icy planetary mantles controls the long-term evolution of the terrestrial planets and many of the moons in the solar system. The style of mantle 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…
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 comfort of inhabitants. In hospitals, airflow can distribute germs and can pose a significant health hazard. Indoor airflow patterns can be very complex and computer…
The discovery and partial characterisation of several thousand planets orbiting stars other than the Sun is probably the most exciting development in modern astrophysics. Observations indicate that tidal gravitational interactions between these planets and their host stars have played a crucial role in modifying spins and orbits in the closest systems. For example, dissipation of tidal flows…
This project aims to investigate the effectiveness of a novel flow control device to treat single ventricle heart defects, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations combined with fluid flow-enabled robotics. In particular, we explore how soft flexible non-blood-contacting Fontan (i.e. deformable tube to by-pass the non-functional ventricle and establish a direct connection between the systemic…
Ocean floor channels on slopes are the main conduits for particulate transfer from continents to oceans. Modern erosionally-confined systems form complicated geomorphologies, but their erosional nature and present-day inactivity means little is known about their evolution. Whilst channels are dominated by bypass [sediment travelling through a channel without leaving much trace] for much of their…
Motivated by the Boxing Day 2015 floods, we aim to improve flood mitigation using active flood control given rainfall and river level data as well as rainfall predictions. Another option is to create more water storage capacity in upstream tributaries using natural flood management, the effects of which we will explore in combination with active…
Artificial ventilation of patients is part of routine clinical care during anaesthesia, and in patients with  respiratory failure. Most of these patients require an artificial airway in the form of a tracheal tube to deliver the ventilation in patients unable to breathe naturally. These tubes are relatively small compared with the natural airway,  so flow…
The origin of magnetism within planets and stars is of fundamental importance in the natural sciences. Magnetic fields of astrophysical bodies reveal a wealth of information about their interior structure and are linked to near-surface conditions, e.g. on Earth where a strong dipole-dominated field shields the surface (including humans) from incoming solar radiation. They are…
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…
The fluid dynamics of moist convection and its representation in models is a ‘grand challenge’ for atmospheric science, and is key to improved weather and climate predictions. Environmental wind-shear is crucial for allowing organised long-lived deep moist convective systems, and is a key quantity analysed by forecasters, yet parameterisations of moist convection in global models…
The recent discovery of particles erupted from seafloor volcanoes (see video link below) in marine sediment samples presents an exciting new approach to investigate the submerged boundaries between submerged tectonic plates known as mid-ocean ridges (MORs). However, this approach is currently limited by our understanding of the dynamics of volcanic plumes on the seafloor, and…
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…
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…
The technical challenges associated with droplets depositing and spreading on oily-soft surfaces is of significant interest to many industries including printing, paint and agriculture. However, our understanding of the fluid dynamics encountered in these complex systems is severely lacking due to a limited number of fundamental studies.  The immiscible interaction of viscoelastic and Newtonian liquids…
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 along fall trajectories (for bigger particles, influenced…
Phase change problems occur in a large number of practical applications and processes from the food industry through to heavy engineering. In particular, many industrial processes involve the solidification of molten metals, for example the highly controlled casting of components such as aircraft wings or turbine blades. The physical properties of the resulting cast products…
Wastewater treatment processes have high energy-costs and are challenging to optimise due to the complex coupled processes occurring.  In England and Wales over 10 billion litres of sewage are produced every day; taking approximately 6.3 gigawatt hours of energy to treat (1% of the average daily electricity-consumption).  Making use of these waste streams as an…
A proper understanding of how the geomagnetic field is generated in Earth’s liquid core, by the so-called geodynamo, remains one of the greatest outstanding problems in Earth science. The principal difficulty is that the core is far too remote to be probed directly and that observations from Earth’s surface can only constrain the magnetic field…