PhD Studentship in Mechanical Engineering: High-fidelity simulation and modelling of premixed combustion of NH3/H2 blends for power-generation and propulsion sectors

   School of Engineering

  Prof Nilanjan Chakraborty  Sunday, March 31, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Award summary 

100% fees covered, and a minimum tax-free annual living allowance of £18,622 (2023/24 UKRI rate).  


The ambitions for tackling global warming initiated by COP27/28 have accelerated the quest for decarbonised energy generation processes and the use of zero-carbon fuels will play an increasingly important role in the future, especially for the UK to meet government net-zero targets. Ammonia, as a carrier of hydrogen, is widely considered a future zero-carbon energy vector. The reactivity of NH3 is often improved through the catalytic production of H2 via partial thermal decomposition from solar heat to form an NH3/H2/N2 mixture, herein denoted D-NH3. However, D-NH3 combustion can lead to a high emission of NOx including the production of N2O – a gas with a greenhouse potential 300 times greater than CO2. Thus, a thorough understanding and improved computational modelling of the premixed combustion of D-NH3 are needed so that the potential of NH3 as an alternative fuel for gas turbines and marine engines can be realised.  

This project will utilise advancements in high-performance computing to analyse turbulent premixed combustion of D-NH3 using Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS, where all the length- and timescales of turbulence are resolved without any physical approximations). The resulting data will be utilised to assess the validity and performances of existing modelling techniques for NH3/H2/air combustion in the context of Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Large Eddy Simulations (LES) and new models will be proposed based on physical principles, and machine learning techniques trained based on DNS data.  

Siemens Software Ltd. and Renuda will provide in-kind support to this work. Their representatives will form an Impact Advisory Panel (IAP) and support the project by providing an industrial perspective. 

Number of awards 

Start date  

16th September 2024 

Award duration 

3.5 years 

Application closing date 

March, 31 2024 



Name of supervisor/s 

Lead Supervisor: Nilanjan Chakraborty () , Professor of Fluid Dynamics, School of Engineering, Newcastle University. 

Co-supervisor: Anh Phan (), Professor of Circular Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Newcastle University. 

Eligibility Criteria 

You must have, or expect to gain, a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a subject relevant to the proposed PhD project (inc. Mechanical /Aerospace/Chemical engineering, mathematics, physics etc.). Enthusiasm for research, the ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are also essential requirements.  

Home and international applicants (inc. EU) are welcome to apply and if successful will receive a full studentship. Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.  

International applicants may require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate prior to obtaining their visa and to study on this programme.  

How to apply 

You must apply through the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal  

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.   

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:   

  • search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8090F   
  • Research Area: ‘Mechanical and Systems Engineering’ 
  • select ‘‘PhD Mechanical Engineering’ as the programme of study  

You will then need to provide the following information in the ‘Further Details’ section:   

  • a ‘Personal Statement’ (this is a mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form   
  • the studentship code ENG132 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field   
  • when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.    

Contact Details 

Nilanjan Chakraborty   

Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)
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