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PhD Case studentship in Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis of Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Canisters in new generation respirators

Project Description

Number of awards:


Start date and duration:

January 2020 for .3.5 years.


The project will utilise advancements of high-performance computing to carry out unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (uRANS) and Large Eddy Simulations (LES) of airflow through CBRN filters in breath responsive respirators. The proposed project will particularly focus on: (i) uRANS and LES calculations to optimise the shape factors in the presence of adsorption modelling; (ii) adsorption modelling with parametric analysis (activated carbon particle size, sensitivity to adsorption models, incorporation of chemistry); (iii) identification of localised blocking and break away; (iv) effects of canister geometry (particularly form fitting geometries) on residence time distribution and adsorption within the filter bed at different phases during different breathing cycles; (v) identification of the correlation between the residence time distribution and adsorption characteristics and (vi) effects of particulate contamination of the filter.

The physical insights extracted from simulation data will be utilised to optimise the performance of CBRN filter canisters in terms of pressure drop, residence time distribution and breakaway for different types/stages of breathing cycle of the wearer of the respirator.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ( and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)

Name of supervisor(s):

Professor Nilanjan Chakraborty (90%) (
Dr Andrew Aspden (10%) (

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants should possess a good honours degree (1st Class or 2:1 minimum) in any of the following disciplines:
•Aerospace/Mechanical/Chemical Engineering
•Applied Mathematics
•or any related field.

The successful candidate will work in a research group with cutting-edge expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), which will support the proposed research by providing a conducive environment. Good analytical, mathematical, project management and communication skills are required. It will be advantageous to have good knowledge of any of following areas:

Computational Fluid Dynamics, Heat and Mass transfer, and Thermodynamics. Experience and interests in Chemical Engineering/Chemistry will be helpful but not essential.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria (, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

How to apply:

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account. To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ ( and choose the ‘Apply now’ button.

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:

•click on programme of study
•insert 8090F in the programme code section and click search
•select Programme name ‘PhD Mechanical Engineering (full time) – Mechanical and Systems Engineering’
•insert CASE02 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code CASE02 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
•attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and annual living allowance of at least £18,000 (standard 2018/19 UKRI rate industrial top up)

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