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  Fluid mechanics in bio-inspired flight/swimming and renewable energy systems

   Department of Engineering

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  Dr Juan Li, Dr David Moxey  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The project aims at tackling the fluid dynamics problems that arise in bio-inspired flight/swimming and renewable energy systems.

The Ph.D. will involve part of, but not restricted to, the following topics:

1 - Exploring the mysteries of bio-inspired flight/swimming. More specifically, the candidate will use theoretical and computational techniques to model natural flight and swimming flow problems, understand the mechanism behind them and provide advanced control and optimization strategy for the bio-mimic systems. The candidate could get involved in the analytical analysis, the CFD simulations, the fluid-structure interaction analysis, the data-driven surrogated model through artificial intelligence (GNNs, RNNs, LSTM, etc.), or the advanced control strategy and optimization.

2 - Modelling, control, and optimization of the flow in renewable energy systems, specifically wind turbines/farms or proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. In more specific terms, the candidate will simulate the fluid or fluid-structure interaction problem in wind turbines/farms or the multi-disciplinary multi-scale problem in PEM fuel cells numerically. The candidate will also deliver the flexible modeling framework for PEMFCs

and provide solutions for the next generation PEMFCs by comprehensive optimization in the aspects of flow channel design, cooling strategy, input gas ratio, etc., to achieve high efficiency, reliability, and long durability.

The candidate will work with Dr. Juan Li and Dr. David Moxey based at Strand Campus, King's College London. Juan is experienced in the field of unsteady aerodynamics and renewable energy. David is an expert in developing cutting-edge novel numerical methods from academia and their application to challenging industrial fluid dynamics problems. Our group often collaborates with other world-leading universities such as Cambridge University, Oxford, Imperial College London, University of Warwick, Royal Veterinary College, Tsinghua University, Peking University, etc., with potential for networking and secondments.

If you have experience in either CFD simulations (such as STAR-CCM+, ANSYS, COMSOL, OpenFOAM, etc.) or machine learning techniques or good programming skills, and if you are interested in either natural-inspired flying/swimming or renewable energy systems, please join us! We are especially interested in students with a strong background in Mechanical Engineering, excellent mathematical programming knowledge, and impeccable coding skills. This will be a great opportunity to start an exciting journey in a world-class university, with a supportive research environment, looking to nature for inspiration and tackling the world’s intractable energy problems.

For further details and to apply, please contact: 

Dr. Juan Li,  [Email Address Removed]

To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system. Details are available at:

Please indicate your desired supervisor and quote the research group in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection of documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Funding is available for 3.5 years (covering Tuition fees, Stipend plus London Allowance, Bench Fees/Research Training & Support Grant). It covers tuition fees at the level set for UK students, c. £6,120 p.a. and a tax-free stipend of approximately £19,668 p.a. with possible inflationary increases after the first year
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