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Dynamics of gasoline fuel direct injections

  • Full or part time
    Dr C Crua
    Dr G De Sercey
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, December 20, 2018
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Project brief:

Understanding the mechanisms that lead to the atomisation and evaporation of liquid fuels is a key step towards the design of efficient and clean combustion systems. However, knowledge about the spray transients (opening and closing stages of the injectors) remains limited, which hinders the development of accurate physical and numerical models. This exciting 4-year funded PhD studentship, hosted within our new Advanced Engineering Building, will allow the successful candidate to join an internationally-leading research centre and establish themselves as an independent researcher to help advance our understanding of liquid fuel mixing and combustion. This PhD studentship will provide an outstanding training in optical measurement techniques, advanced image processing and numerical simulation, with many potential applications in the areas of fluid dynamics, automotive engineering, and combustion systems.

Project in detail:

The vast majority of fuel spray research is focused on steady-state atomisation processes and based on the assumption that droplets are perfectly spherical, even though such sprays can contain a large proportion of ligaments and deformed droplets. The lack of information about transient atomisation and mixing processes (i.e. during start and end of injection) at the microscopic scale inhibits the development and validation of accurate engine simulation tools. For example, after the end of fuel injection, residual fuel present inside the injector’s nozzle is discharged through inertia and capillarity. These uncontrolled fuel discharge events can present several problems. The excess fuel can undergo incomplete combustion due to its large, slow moving and often surface-bound nature.

Not only does this have a negative effect on emissions and performance, but the by-products of incomplete combustion are thought to be implicated in the growth of carbonaceous deposits on the tips of fuel injectors. Accumulation of these deposits is known to lead to premature fuel injector failure that can lead to reductions in power output and engine lifetime. With modern multiple-injection strategies giving rise to an increased number of transient injection phases, post-injection discharges are increasingly problematic for modern engines.

The successful candidate will work within the Advanced Engineering Centre and use state-of-the-art research facilities, including optical engines, high-speed video and laser diagnostics. The candidate will join an experienced team, and present findings at project review meetings, as well as at national and international conferences. You will be a key team member of the project, which will be conducted in close collaboration with industry.

Funding Notes

The studentship is funded by the EPSRC and BP and pays tuition fees, and a stipend of £17,334.

For a full award applicants must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years before the start of the studentship.

EU nationals who have not resided in the UK for three years before the start of the studentship are eligible for a fee only award.

Candidates from outside the EU are not eligible for this studentship.

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