This experimentally focused PhD project will explore how fluid-structure interactions can be harnessed for passive control of fluids, cargos and channel geometry in micro-scale fluidic devices. This will involve the integration of soft, deformable components into microfluidic devices and the visualisation and measurement of concurrent fluid flows and solid deformations. The purpose of this PhD is to provide fundamental knowledge into passive propulsion and shape-morphing strategies that can improve deployment of microfluidic technology outside of the laboratory environment. The PhD programme will cover microfabrication techniques, imaging and experimental testing, modelling, collaboration, scientific communication and dissemination of research findings.
The PhD will be conducted within the Physics of Fluids and Soft Matter Group (https://www.physics.manchester.ac.uk/research/areas-of-expertise/physics-of-fluids/) that research the dynamics and instabilities of complex systems, from bubble flows to soft tissues, and encompasses both curiosity-driven and industrially-relevant phenomena. The group currently has12 members, including three permanent members of academic staff (Dr Draga Pihler-Puzović, Dr Finn Box and Prof Anne Juel) and a laboratory technician (Martin Quinn). Our group houses the laboratories of the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics (MCND, http://www.mcnd.manchester.ac.uk), which was founded in 2000 by the Schools of Physics and Mathematics to ally quantitative experimental investigations with cutting edge approaches in mathematical and numerical modelling of complex systems. MCND builds on Manchester's outstanding pedigree in fundamental fluid mechanics to provide a modern, multidisciplinary training environment of high international profile, which is unique in the UK.
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.
We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).