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PhD studentship in Hibernating turbulence in boundary-layer flows

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 24, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Number of awards

Start date and duration
October 2020 for up to 3.5 years.

Hibernating turbulence is a unique form of fluid-flow intermittency which causes the skin-friction drag force experienced by an aero- of hydrodynamic body to temporarily reduce by up to 70% [1, 2]. The hibernating turbulence phenomena will be investigated in a series of advanced wind tunnel and water flume experiments using state-of-the-art laser-based fluid-flow diagnostics.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to interact with the project sponsor and project partners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and University of Liverpool.

The applicant will be trained to a high technological standard and possess skills essential for the growth of the UK economy. In particular, the applicant will develop high technical proficiency in

experimental fluid dynamics including stereoscopic particle image velocimetry, laser Doppler velocimetry, hot-film anemometry, computer programming, and control and instrumentation.

The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Name of supervisor(s)
Dr Richard Whalley (, School of Engineering (, Newcastle University

Eligibility Criteria
The applicant is expected to have a 1st class or upper 2:1 honours degree in Mechanical Engineering or a related subject, and a strong background in fluid dynamics, mathematics and engineering design. It would be highly desirable for the applicant to have a sound understanding of turbulent flows, and have relevant experience of collecting and analysing experimental data.

This award is available to UK/EU and international candidates. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

How to apply
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form ( 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 ENG057 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 ENG057 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.
You should also send a copy of your CV and covering letter quoting the relevant reference number, together with a short statement as to why you feel this project will further your own research interests, send direct to Dr Richard Whalley (

Dr Richard Whalley (, School of Engineering (, Newcastle University

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,009 Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees. Also additional funding is available to cover research costs including local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).


[1] R.D.Whalley et al. (2017) “Low-drag events in transitional wall-bounded turbulence”, Physical Review Fluids, 2, 034602.

[2] A. Kushwaha et al. (2017) “Temporal and spatial intermittencies within channel flow turbulence near transition”, Physical Review Fluids, 2, 024603.

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