A new generation of computational tools is required to support the design of future, net-zero carbon engines for aircraft propulsion.
Due to the high energy densities, medium/long haul flights will continue to rely on the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, even as the world transitions from traditional fossil fuels to alternative options, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) produced using renewable sources, emissions such as NOx and particulates will still be generated.
Therefore, a step change in understanding and the development of radical new combustion technology is required to meet future emissions requirements whilst maintaining other key operability combustion system characteristics.
A vital step in the design of such systems is the accurate prediction of emissions such as NOx and particulates (i.e. soot) using computational simulation. For example, modelling soot production has many aspects including (but not limited to) simulation of fuel spray, highly unsteady mixing, complex chemistry and soot processes (particle nucleation, growth, oxidation and coagulation) and a key part of the modelling strategy is the decision of how to deploy the computing resources available between these aspects.
This PhD will consider this by modelling soot prediction in realistic test cases using a number of different strategies ranging from fine mesh LES cases with relatively simple soot chemistry to the use of methods such as Conditional Moment Closure (CMC) to allow detailed soot chemistry to be solved on a much coarser spatial scale.
The PhD researcher will make use of high-performance computing facilities within NCCAT and the wider university to run these simulations of realistic engine geometry and work towards producing designs with improved emission performance.
Underpinning this will be access to a unique set of experimental data being produced within NCCAT as part of the EPSRC-funded LITECS programme which involves six Universities and aims to develop transformative measurement capabilities which capture the emissions generating processes within gas turbine combustors.
Data from realistic test cases at high temperatures and pressure will allow the PhD researcher to understand how the modelling performs at predicting soot production and the processes leading to this. In turn, the PhD researcher will work alongside others in the LITECS team to use their simulations to provide insight into the combustion processes.
Primary supervisor: Dr Andrew Garmory
Secondary supervisor: Prof Jon Carrotte
Entry requirements for United Kingdom
Students should have, or expect to achieve, at least 2:1 or equivalent in a relevant engineering degree.
English language requirements
Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.
Find out more about research degree funding
How to apply
All applications should be made online and must include a research proposal. Under the programme name, select 'Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering'. Please quote the advertised reference number AACME-23-010 in your application.
To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.