Interferometry applied to experimental fluid mechanics


   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

   Saturday, August 31, 2024  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Dr Sergio Maldonado

Project description

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position on the use of interferometry in experimental fluid mechanics.

Accurate sampling of fluid temperature is extremely important in many areas of industry and research. While many techniques to do so are available, each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses; for example, RTD sensors are reliable and accurate, but are intrusive and have slow response times. Interferometry is a well-established technique in several areas of science and engineering, with a huge potential to deliver highly accurate and fully non-intrusive measurements in fluids. Recent research at the University of Southampton has demonstrated the merits of interferometry for various types of flows (e.g. natural convection), but potential to further enhance experimental fluid mechanics by means of this technique remains largely unexploited.

In this PhD project, which is part of an ongoing collaboration with ETH Zurich (Switzerland), various configurations and applications of interferometry will be explored in the context of experimental fluid mechanics. The successful applicant will join a world-leading research team and environment at the University of Southampton, a Russell Group member ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities. Of particular importance for this PhD, which will likely require Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations, is the access to Iridis 5, the University of Southampton’s recently upgraded supercomputer, considered one of the most powerful in the UK.

This studentship covers UK level tuition fees and provides an attractive tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate. The funding available is competitive and will only be awarded to an outstanding applicant. As part of the selection process, the strength of the whole application is taken into account, including academic qualifications, personal statement, CV and references. Applicants should have a good first degree in physics or a relevant engineering subject. Ideally, the candidate should have some experience in fluid dynamics and/or basic experimental optics. The planned start date is Autumn 2024, but an earlier start is also possible.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Sergio Maldonado, Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group, Emails: Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2662.

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 2024 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £18,622 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study (soton.ac.uk). Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Sergio Maldonado

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact:


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