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Novel ways to model complex flows

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

While the equations governing the flow of Newtonian liquids like water or petrol are well-understood and excellent numerical methods exist to make accurate predictions of how such liquids will behave, the situation regarding complex fluids, such as blood, paint, shampoos, etc, is considerably less well understood. The reason is that equations governing the properties of these fluids, termed visco-elastic or non-Newtonian fluids, are much more complicated and, indeed, are sometimes not known at all. The source of this complexity is the particles or aggregates within the fluid (e.g. cells or colloidal particles).

A good way to model the properties of these aggregates is via Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD) simulations [1] while a good way to model the flow properties of a normal fluid is Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics[2]. The aim of this project is to fuse these techniques, so that DPD gives the interactions between the aggregates that cause non-Newtonian behaviour and then SPH provides the dynamical tools to predict flows. The plan is to use this twinned methodology to look firstly at the properties of those surfactant systems that crop up in the health-care industry (e.g. shampoos and conditioners) and then to model novel drug-delivery systems[3], in which a drug contained in a vesicle makes its way through the blood stream.

This project requires an excellent student with a strong computational and mathematical background. He/she will first need to develop and test the DPD/SPH composite program before applying it to flows with both industrial and medical relevance. The project will be supervised jointly between Chemical and Mechanical Engineering at Manchester.

Funding Notes

There is no current funding for this project, though competition-based funding is possible for excellent UK students.


1) Perspective: Dissipative Particle Dynamics, P. Espanol and P. Warren, J. Chem. Phys. 146, 150901 (2017)
2) A Comparative Review of Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics, Dissipative Particle Dynamics and Smoothed Dissipative Particle Dynamics, T. Ye and Y. Li, Int. J.Comp. Methods 15,1850083 (2018)
3) See, e.g., Joseph et al., Sci. Adv. 3, e1700362 (2017)

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.90

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

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