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  Developing high-fidelity fluid dynamics simulations for sustainable aviation.

   Department of Engineering

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  Dr David Moxey  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The drive towards net-zero sustainable aviation transport means that new, radical changes in technology are needed that can drastically improve aircraft efficiency. In a warming and increasingly fragile climate, the designers of next-generation aircraft and the engines that will be used to power them are under huge pressure to deliver innovative, efficient propulsion and aerodynamic improvements that can ensure future aviation travel and growth is environmentally sustainable. Moreover, the push towards alternative fuel sources, such as hydrogen, means that an entirely set of design, safety and propulsion systems need to be developed.

This doctoral project will contribute towards this goal within the group led by Dr. David Moxey at King’s College London. The group’s ambition is to provide engineers with next-generational computational tools and technology that are capable of very accurately predicting how changes in design affect aspects of performance. The group develops highly accurate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations using novel numerical methods, which provide far greater resolution and accuracy compared to current industry-standard tools and commercial software. Our aim is to combine this with software engineering that targets the next generation of exascale supercomputing facilities, meaning that these tools have the potential to investigate complex fluid dynamics problems at a level of unprecedented detail and offer a virtual environment capable of realistic and accurate simulation, without the restriction and cost of instrumentation.

The successful candidate will work in the group in developing capabilities in one or more of several areas connected to sustainable aviation, depending on the candidate’s background and skill set. Potential topics include:

·      high-fidelity simulations of multi-phase and multi-species flow, for the modelling of future hydrogen-powered aviation;

·      modelling of shock-wave boundary layer interaction for transonic complex geometries in off-design conditions;

·      automatic adaptivity for modelling of strongly separated flows;

·      mesh generation for complex geometries.

You will join a strong and rapidly growing group, with the benefit of wide range of computational facilities and strong network of academic collaborators, both within the Department of Engineering and other UK and international partners. All of these projects include considerable development of new, novel numerical codes, which bring significant transferrable skills to future roles in academia and industry. You will also be expected and encouraged to contribute towards presentations at international conferences and leading journal publications.

Applicants for this studentship should have obtained, or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an area that includes knowledge of aeronautical engineering and/or scientific computing (e.g. engineering, applied mathematics or physics). Previous programming knowledge and/or experience with high-performance computing (e.g. MPI, OpenMP) is highly desirable, particularly in languages involving object-orientated programming such as C++.

Application Procedure:

To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system. Details are available at:

Please indicate your desired supervisor as Dr. David Moxey in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

Engineering (12) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

Funding is available for 3.5 years (covering Tuition fees, Stipend plus London Allowance, Bench Fees/Research Training & Support Grant). It covers tuition fees for UK or International students and a tax-free stipend of approximately £19,668 p.a. with possible inflationary increases after the first year.