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EPSRC DTP Studentship: Numerical study of complex fluid-structure interaction


Project Description

This studentship is a collaboration between the School of Engineering and School of Mathematics at Cardiff University. The academic supervisors are Dr. Zhihua Xie and Prof. Tim Phillips.

This PhD project will focus on research in the areas of fluid-structure interaction for multiphase flows (both Newtonian and non-Newtonnian) in environmental & industrial applications. Research areas include two-phase flows with interface capturing method (Volume of Fluid, Level set, and combination of both), turbulence modelling using large-eddy simulation, complex geometries (with immersed boundary, Cartesian cut-cell and unstructured adaptive mesh methods), and fluid-structure interaction with rigid single/multiple body motions of six-degrees of freedom or deformable objects. In-house codes will be refined and applied to civil and mechanical engineering applications such as floating platform in offshore renewable energy, oil and gas industries, biomedical engineering, infrastructure resilience etc.


This project is a multidisciplinary research and will also help the student develop a broad range of area of interests during the PhD study. Opportunities for collaboration with numerical experts (at University College London, Imperial College London, and University of Cambridge) and experimental collaborators (at Chinese State Key Laboratories) will be available during the project. The student will gain research experience and collaborations through regular meetings/workshops in the school and within GW4 programmes, as well as national and international conferences.


The supervisory team has extensive experience in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and a proven track record in all key elements of the project. The main supervisor and joint main supervisor have published over 40 and 80 journal papers respectively on developing, testing and applying advanced CFD methods for engineering applications. Dr. Xie has been working on finite volume, finite difference and finite element methods; whereas Prof. Phillips has been working on spectral element, lattice Boltzman, and particle methods. So with the supervisory team, they cover a board range of numerical methods, including the multiphase, non-Newtonian flows.

Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or an appropriate Masters level qualification (or their equivalent) in
Mathematics, Physics and Engineering disciplines. Candidates are required to
demonstrate that they have:
• Knowledge of fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics and hydraulics
• Some experience of applied mathematics and numerical methods
• Interest in developing models, numerical tools, and writing computer programs
to implement numerical methods to solve partial differential equations.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)


Please contact Dr Zhihua Xie () to informally discuss this opportunity


Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages (http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/engineering ) including;
• an upload of your CV
• a personal statement/covering letter
• two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)
• Current academic transcripts
Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of October 2020.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference ZX-DTP-2020

Funding Notes

Start date July / October 2020 3.5 years Full Time.

Tuition fees at the home/EU rate (£4,407 in 2020/21) and an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates (£15,285 stipend for academic year 2020/21), plus support for travel/conferences/consumables.

This studentship is open to Home or EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship. Other EU students may also be eligible for a limited number of full awards.

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