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Experiments of rain droplet penetration of porous media using laser diagnostics

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, August 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Supervisor: Tiina Roose
Co-supervisor Bharath Ganapatrhrisubramani

Project description

Soil is one of the most complex self assembling organo-mineral composites in the world. All human food supply, ecosystem and infrastructure services depend on soil. However, surprisingly, especially for the UK, very little is known about the fundamental fluid dynamics of how the rain penetrates soil and influences the soil wetting and soil surface mechanics. There are many crude and mostly inaccurate modelling approaches available, but there is no fundamental understanding of how raindrops of different sizes penetrate soil pore space. However, this knowledge is needed to predict how the solutes applied to the soil surface get carried deeper into the soil with rainfall.

In this PhD project, the candidate will design, develop and carry out tailored canonical experiments of droplets with different sizes penetrating a variety of porous media. High-fidelity laser diagnostics will be carried out in state-of-the-art refractive index matched facilities that will allow us to measure within and around porous media This will provide access to previously inaccessible data that can be used to develop new models, which in turn can be used within a larger predictive framework.

These experiments will not only aid our model development for rain penetration into soil, but also enable us to advice what mist/rain sprinkling will best aid or impede solute movement into soil.


The candidate should have a first-class degree in a general Engineering area (Mechanical, Aerospace, Chemical etc) or Applied Mathematics. You should have the interest and some experience in carrying out experimental work. Laser diagnostics experience is preferred but not a requirement. A strong mathematical and computing (MATLAB, PYTHON etc.) foundation is necessary for development of data analysis codes and subsequent model synthesis.

Entry Requirements
A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Engineering and Environment (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Tiina Roose under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:
Curriculum Vitae
Two reference letters
Degree Transcripts to date
Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact:

How good is research at University of Southampton in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 192.23

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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