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Investigation of flow and heat transfer in micro channels using nano-fluids

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 05, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Cutting edge technologies are increasingly dependent on the safe dissipation of huge amounts of heat from very small areas. With the advancement of the semiconductor industry alongside hybrid vehicle power electronics and avionics, heat dissipation has become a critical factor in the development of more powerful miniaturised electronic devices. The increase in power, performance and heat flux per unit area of these miniaturised electronic devices have caused it to generate higher temperatures which requires advance cooling technologies. Conventional cooling systems cannot dissipate this excessive heat fast and effectively from the smaller surfaces. Hence more novel cooling systems are required to enhance the performance and life span of these electronic devices. Micro channels have become an essential alternative for cooling electronics due to its effective heat transfer capabilities, miniature size, high surface area-volume ratio and less working fluid demand. Coupling the use of nano-fluids which can deliver a higher heat transfer compared to conventional fluids such as water and ethylene glycol, can provide an enhanced heat transfer performance when compared to conventional cooling systems.
The objective of this research work will be to build a general purpose experimental test rig to assess the thermal performance, flow and pressure drop characteristics of the nano-fluid flow in a microchannel heat sink. The experiment will be carried out using selected nano-fluids of various volume concentrations. The effects of the thermophysical properties of the nano-fluid on the thermal performance and flow characteristics will also be investigated. Numerical methods using CFD will be used alongside experiments to investigate innovative designs of the microchannel. It is expected that the outputs of this project will further advance and support the development of the micro channel cooling capability.
Person specification:
We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated candidate who should have or be in the process of obtaining an excellent first degree (good 2:1 or above) or MSc degree with Distinction in a relevant engineering discipline (e.g. Mechanical, Automotive, Chemical, Thermal, Energy or Physics). The role will involve the design and development of an experimental test rig with the application of numerical techniques.

Thus applicants should demonstrate:
• Good knowledge of fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer and/or thermodynamics, strong analytical skills, creativity and an aptitude for experimental work.
• Experience in experimental design, instrumentation and working in a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment are desirable.
• Good written and oral communication skills are essential.
• Knowledge and experience of flow dynamics and heat transfer, CFD and relevant industrial/ experimental practice would be an advantage.

To apply, please complete the project proposal form, ensuring that you quote the project reference, and then complete the online application where you will be required to upload your proposal in place of a personal statement as a pdf document.
You will also be required to upload two references, at least one being an academic reference, and your qualification/s of entry (Bachelor/Masters certificate/s and transcript/s).
International applicants must submit a valid English language qualification, such as International English Language Test System (Academic IELTS) or equivalent with an overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0.

Funding Notes

The opportunity is open to Home, EU and International applicants who meet the required Birmingham City University eligibility criteria. The PhD studentship includes a full stipend, paid for a period of 3 years at RCUK rates (in 2019/20 this is £15,009 pa) and fees at Home/EU rate. This studentship will start in May 2020. International applicants are eligible to apply for this studentship but must meet the shortfall on fees between Home/EU and International rate.


Etaig, Saleh, Hasan, Reaz and Perera, Noel (2018) A new effective viscosity model for nanofluids, International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 28 Issue: 3, pp.571‐583, DOI: 10.1108/HFF‐11‐2016‐0462
Etaig, Saleh, Hasan, Reaz and Perera, Noel (2018) Investigation of natural convection characteristics with Brownian motion effect using different nanofluids. Multiphase Science and Technology, Vol. 30, Issue: 2-3, pp. 135-152 DOI: 10.1615/MultScienTechn.2018024685
Etaig, Saleh, Hasan, Reaz and Perera, Noel (2017) Investigation of the flow characteristics of titanium-oxide-water nanofluid in microchannel with circular cross section. American Journal of Nano Research and Applications; 5(6) pp.102-109 DOI: 10.11648/j.nano.20170506.14

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