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  Prediction of Non-Spherical Particle Interaction and Agglomeration in Pipe Flows for Nuclear Waste Management Applications


   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

  Prof Mike Fairweather, Prof Jeff Peakall, Prof Tim Hunter  Tuesday, May 07, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The LIFD Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics is now recruiting to this fantastic PhD opportunity in partnership with Sellafield Ltd.

In nuclear waste processing, the management of multiphase sludge waste is critical to on-going operations which aim to transport aggregated waste to storage facilities. Such flows consist of an aqueous phase laden with high concentrations of particles. Generating understanding of such systems is vital to the success of post-operational clean out operations such as dewatering, containment and transportation. Numerical predictions of these systems generally use a point sphere-particle approach to represent the solid phase. However, in practice, particles possess complex structures such as needles, discs and cubes, and their agglomeration can result in more non-trivial particle morphologies, with implications for their trajectorial behaviour and interactions between the phases. To address this challenge and improve the accuracy of predictive tools, this project will develop, implement, validate and demonstrate a non-spherical Lagrangian particle tracking scheme capable of predicting particle collisions and agglomeration. To develop fundamental understanding surrounding these interactions, an immersed boundaries method will also be employed to explore the underpinning mechanisms of binary non-spherical particle interactions on the particle-scale. Relevant flow conditions will be predicted using high-accuracy direct numerical simulation. The knowledge and predictive tools generated will be of value in improving current operational efficiency and ensuring safe industrial practice.

Project aims:

New Knowledge: New understanding of how realistically shaped particles transport, disperse, collide, agglomerate, deposit and are re-suspended in practically relevant flows, with assessment of techniques capable of manipulating and improving flow conditions within nuclear waste transport systems.

New Technology: Numerical simulation techniques, not available in the supply chain, for predicting realistic flows and for use in benchmarking more pragmatic predictive approaches used in and by industry.

Developing New Skills: Developing new numerical modelling skills in the area of non-spherical particles and extending understanding of particle science.

Maintaining Skills: Maintaining and developing use of first principles simulation techniques with applicability to a wide range of particle-laden flows of relevance to nuclear waste management and decommissioning.

Please visit our website for important information on how to apply.

Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)

Funding Notes

A highly competitive LIFD Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics studentship in partnership with Sellafield Ltd, offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant (currently £18,622 in academic session 2023/24) for 4 years.  Training and support will also be provided. This opportunity is open to all applicants, with a very small number of awards for Non-UK nationals. All candidates will be placed into the LIFD Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.

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