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Funded PhD Studentship in Engineering: An acoustic analysis tool for detecting hydrogen gas in sealed pressurised storage packages and containers

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Holborn
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A funded PhD research opportunity exists to develop an acoustic analysis tool for detecting hydrogen gas in sealed pressurised storage packages and containers.

Flammable hydrogen gas, generated through the action of radiolysis and corrosion reactions, can readily accumulate in and pressurise the sealed product packages (cans and drums) that are present at Sellafield and other nuclear plants in the NDA (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) estate. Such flammable gas hazards pose the risk of an explosion occurring when the package is processed or moved - threatening operator safety and the uncontrolled release of radioactive contamination. This project, funded by the NDA and monitored by NNL, will carry out research to develop a screening tool for characterising and detecting accumulated hydrogen gas in sealed pressurised storage packages and containers. A programme of experimental tests will be carried out using an apparatus consisting of an array of piezoelectric transducers that will be applied to the surface of representative containers and which will then be filled with gas mixtures over a range of different compositions and pressures. The surface of the container will then be excited with an instrumented transducer at different frequencies and the resulting acoustic vibration measurement data analysed to obtain correlations and build a model to relate the observed acoustic behaviour with the hydrogen concentration and pressure inside the container. This information will then be used to develop a tool/algorithm for detecting the presence of pressurised hydrogen in a container, whilst providing information on its likely composition and pressure. The work will therefore help to maximise the efficiency of package handling operations whilst ensuring worker safety and protection for the surrounding environment.

The successful candidate will join an active research team, under the supervision of Dr Paul Holborn, and Dr James Ingram within the Explosion and Fire Research Group at LSBU and an Industrial Supervisor from Sellafield Ltd.

The Candidate

The studentship is for UK and EU nationals. You should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate area such as engineering, science or mathematics and environmental technology.

The Award Detail

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Paul Holborn by email: [Email Address Removed]. Interested parties should apply, sending their CV and cover letter, by 11th November 2019.

Qualifications

Applicants must normally have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate area such as engineering, science or mathematics. Experience and evidence of interest in acoustics, piezoelectric transducers and machine learning techniques would be an advantage.

Interviews

Interviews for shortlisted candidates are expected to be held in the 3rd-4th week of November 2019.

Funding Notes

The 3 year studentship provides a tax-free stipend allowance of up to £17,666 per annum plus UK/EU tuition fees.



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