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Engineering: Fully Funded Swansea University / EPSRC PhD Scholarship: Multiphase reactive flow of cryogenic hydrogen for clean energy application

   School of Aerospace, Civil, Electrical, General And Mechanical Engineering

  Dr Zhaoxin Ren  Friday, August 12, 2022  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding providers: Swansea University and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Subject areas: Engineering

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project supervisors: Dr Zhaoxin Ren and Professor Wulf G Dettmer

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Aerospace Engineering

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

This is an exciting opportunity to join Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering (ZCCE) at Swansea University, which is recognised internationally for its pioneering work on computational modelling and engineering application. The Faculty of Science & Engineering’s research environment was assessed as over 93% world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. The project aims to provide PhD students with first-rate, challenging research training, with mutually beneficial research collaboration.

Hydrogen as a fuel for propulsion has been identified by the aerospace industry as the pathway to its zero-emission ambition. The utilization of cryogenic hydrogen is considered the most effective option. However, there are several key technical challenges to the stable combustion of cryogenic hydrogens, such as flashback and flame instability. The underlying physics is complex involving cryogenic jets, intense heat and mass transfer, phase change, multiphase flow, ignition, and flame, and there is an urgent need to develop robust and reliable predictive tools to support the experimental studies, which are challenging and costly.

The project aims to develop cutting-edge modelling techniques based on the current in-house high-fidelity simulation code for the multiphase reactive flow of cryogenic hydrogen and to collect the data from numerical simulations that can be used to analyse physicochemical processes to gain further insight into this relatively new scientific topic. The strategies for hydrogen injection, effective mixing, and stable operation under suitable operating conditions will be developed. The research aims to lay a theoretical basis for the operational principles of the hydrogen combustion system.

The post-holder will gain experience in:

  • computational fluid mechanics using state-of-the-art numerical model and simulation techniques;
  • theory of cryogenic flow, multiphase flow and turbulent combustion, and analytical techniques;
  • the development and use of high-fidelity numerical modelling;
  • pathway to net-zero aviation.
  • working in a multi-disciplinary team.

In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to high-rank journals and to present their findings at major international conferences.


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline.

Background in computational fluid mechanics, combustion, and aerospace propulsion is desirable. Applications are invited from candidates in Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering or related areas.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062.
Additional research expenses will also be available.

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