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PhD Studentship: Development of cooling strategies and advanced numerical approaches for heat transfer in nuclear fusion reactor components under extreme heat loads

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  • Full or part time
    Dr I Langella
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: AAE-IL-2001
Start date of studentship: April or July 2020
Closing date of advert: 10 February 2020

Primary supervisor: Dr Ivan Langella
Secondary supervisor: Prof Gary Page

Project Details

A new PhD student opportunity has opened at the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering. This research focuses on modelling heat transfer processes in nuclear fusion reactor components under extreme heat loads, and on the development of advanced cooling strategies. The research involves a close collaboration with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). You will take part in the development of state-of-the-art technology for nuclear fusion reactors and work in a dynamic research environment. You will also have the opportunity to be part of the Rolls-Royce University Technological Centre, which is widely recognised as a world-leading research centre (

Loughborough University

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.
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Full Project Detail

Nuclear fusion is a potential source to generate vast amounts of carbon-free energy while producing no long-lasting radioactive waste. However, the components within a nuclear fusion reactor need to withstand extreme heat loads (~20 MW/m2).

This project focuses on the development of new coolant technologies to allow for efficient heat extraction and redistribution. The viability of different coolants, particularly water and liquid metals, will be explored on different configurations using high-fidelity large eddy simulations (LES). Current water-cooling strategies are limited by phenomena like cavitation and local evaporation, to be studied in detail under high pressure conditions. Effects of local currents due to presence of magnetic field will also be studied in detail.
The LES approach will involve conjugate heat transfer to assess the effect of the coolant on different materials, and the modelling of the magnetic effects and the phase change in regions of heat peaks. The investigation will take advantage of data from experimental campaigns at UKAEA.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in aeronautical engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree will be an advantage. The student should further demonstrate:

• Some experience with CFD, modelling and programming;
• Fluent verbal and written communication skills;
• Prior experience and/or knowledge of heat transfer or any relevant physics (magnetic effects, liquid metals) is a plus.

Contact details

Name: Dr Ivan Langella
Email address: [Email Address Removed]

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Aeronautical Engineering

Please quote reference number: AAE-IL-2001

Funding Notes

This 3.5-years studentship is funded by EPSRC and the UKAEA, and will be awarded on a competitive basis. The studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per year, plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and travel benefits.

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