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Modelling of Transient Heat Transfer in Aero-engine Compressor Rotors

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, September 13, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description


The next generation of aero-engines will require an increase in total pressure ratio in order to improve efficiency and meet environmental targets. This will decrease the height of the compressor blades, which with current clearance-control technology will result in increased aerodynamic losses and flow instability. Therefore, the requirement to control the tight clearances between the blade tips and the casing over all engine-operating conditions is a challenge for future engine designers.

The blade clearance is controlled by the radial growth of the discs, which is strongly affected by the temperature distribution and in turn the heat transfer in the rotating cavities. For aero-engines, in which the conditions change for take-off, cruise and landing, the prediction of the transient disc temperatures is critically important. It is therefore the aim of this project to model the transient heat transfer in compressor rotors. The model will be validated through experimental measurements made using a compressor rig at the University of Bath.

The project’s aim will be achieved by delivering the following objectives:
(1) Develop theoretical and computational models to predict the transient heat transfer behaviour in compressor cavities and the effect on temperature, stress and radial growth of the rotor discs;
(2) Conduct experiments using the multi-cavity compressor rig at the University of Bath to validate the models;
(3) Implement the models into design codes in collaboration with engine manufacturers.

The proposed project will be conducted within the Turbomachinery Research Centre (TRC) at the University of Bath. The centre has an international reputation for developing theoretical models and experimental facilities for the investigation of rotating flow in gas turbines. The centre has industrial collaborations with Siemens and Rolls-Royce. The models developed as part of this project will be of direct relevance to the engine manufacturers.


The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or equivalent). Candidates whose first language is not English should have an IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in each module) or equivalent.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Department of Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Expected start date: January 2020

Funding Notes

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend of £15,009 per annum (2019/20 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for up to 3.5 years. Overseas applicants are not eligible to apply for this funding.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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