Multiphysics and Multiscale Approach to Phase Change Heat Transfer

   Department of Engineering

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  Dr Yutaku Kita  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project


Historical breakthroughs in technology, such as steam engines, electricity, nuclear energy, lasers and computers, have often hinged on conquering thermal challenges. Today, as our society is committed to advancing Net Zero and Digital technologies, we face a new thermal crisis in fusion technology, electronics and power devices, to name a few. Revolutionary thermal management, using phase change heat transfer (i.e., boiling, evaporation and condensation), is a crucial enabler to reach this goal. However, technical challenges arise from the fundamental complexity of multiphysics and multiscale phenomena, which needs to be addressed for the rational engineering design.

Project details:

This project aims to tackle fundamental problems in thermofluids coupling multiphase flows, interfacial phenomena, wetting and phase change heat transfer. Potential topics include:

·      Spray Cooling: The candidate will identify the responsible mechanisms determining heat transfer rates at each regime i.e., film boiling, transition and nucleate boiling and develop a mechanistic model. This project may start at the droplet-level, as a simple physical model, and then, extend towards the spray-level. The ultimate goal of this project is to bridge the gap across scales.

·      Condensation: Dropwise condensation is known to offer an excellent heat transfer performance despite almost no successful application in industry to date. This is due to the lack of understanding of local wetting and heat transfer phenomena, which leads to the transition from dropwise to inefficient filmwise condensation mode. This project aims to reveal the fundamental mechanism that triggers this transition and develop a predictive model.

Either project involves experiments and numerical/analytical modelling. The candidate will develop novel techniques for thermal and flow measurements at various spatio-temporal resolutions using optics and image processing, in addition to conventional techniques. The candidate will design and develop experimental setup and heat transfer surfaces via microfabrication and/or coating. Numerical approach will be used to better interpret experimental observations. In the course of the project, the candidate may seek other approaches such as machine learning. Ultimately, theories and predictive models will be derived from the experimental and numerical studies, to enable the design of thermal management for Net Zero and Digital technologies.


·      Lab experience and good programming skills

·      Eagerness to develop new skills and knowledge

·      Engineering (e.g, Mechanical or Chemical) or Physics background

·      Good understanding of Fluid Mechanics and Heat and Mass Transfer

·      Additional knowledge of surface sciences, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and image processing (welcome but not required)

About the Group:

The successful candidate will join the Thermofluid Physics Group, led by Dr Yutaku Kita at the Department of Engineering, King’s College London. Our lab is rapidly growing with new experimental facilities. We have a strong network of academic collaborators, both within the Department and other UK and overseas, such as the University of Edinburgh, University College Dublin (Ireland), University of Maryland (US), Kyushu University (Japan), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan), etc., with potential for networking and secondments.

Also, visit our website:

Application Procedure

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

Please apply for Engineering Research (MPhil/PhD) and indicate Yutaku Kita as your desired supervisor and the project title in your

application and all correspondence. 

In the funding section of the application (Award Scheme Code or Name) use the following code: YK Multiphysics & Multiscale 

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on 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) Physics (29)

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 for UK or International students and a tax-free stipend of approximately £20,622.00 p.a. with possible inflationary increases after the first year.
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