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Droplet Impact onto Complex Substrates (PURVISRU20SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

This project will consider high-speed droplet impacts onto complex substrates, such as flexible or porous plates. In particular, the focus will be on how different surfaces can either enhance or supress splashing. Inspired in part by understanding how ice forms on aircraft during flight through clouds, and how splashing can be controlled to enable better ice protection, the project will use a combination of mathematical modelling, analytical techniques, and numerical solutions, to investigate both the initial and longer time response before and after an impact.

Although droplet impacts onto rigid surfaces has been well studied and mostly understood, how impact, splashing and spreading depend on surface properties is only more recently becoming experimentally considered, and modelling is still in its infancy.

Of particular interest in this project is:

1) Impact onto pliable or elastic surfaces
2) Impact onto hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces
3) Impact and spreading on porous substrates.

In each case, the mathematics will involve expanding classical Wagner theory for liquid impact problems, either coupling it with novel boundary conditions or with additional model equations. In each case, we are interested in both the behaviour just before impact (bubble entrapment, delayed or hastened impact time) building on, for example, Hicks and Purvis (2017), as well as the behaviour after impact (splashing, spreading, penetration, substrate response) building on, again for example, Pegg, Purvis and Korobkin (2018).

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

This is a PhD programme.

The start date of the project is 1 October 2020.

The mode of study is full-time. The studentship length is 3 years.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.

Entry requirements

Acceptable first degree in Mathematics or a closely related degree.

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.


i) Gas-cushioned droplet impacts with a thin layer of porous media Hicks, P. & Purvis, R. 2017, Journal of Engineering Mathematics. 102.

ii) Droplet impact onto an elastic plate: a new mechanism for splashing, Pegg, M., Purvis, R. & Korobkin, A. 2018. Journal of Fluid Mechanics. 839.

Related Subjects

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