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Studies in acoustic interactions with liquid drops

   Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment

  Dr Michal Bosy, Prof Andy Augousti  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

An ultrasonic monitoring system has been built that is able to characterise liquids based on the growth of pendant liquid drops [1]. The system operates as an ultrasonic interferometer, whereby part of the acoustic wavefront interacts with the growing liquid drop and is them recombined with another part of the wavefront which acts as a reference path.

The technique has been able to distinguish different types of soft drink, lagers and many other liquids. It operates quickly and can provide a result within a minute or two of sample addition. The capability of identifying and distinguishing test liquids quickly is especially important, and the potential applications for such a device are very wide. These range well beyond beverages to environmental monitoring, biomedical monitoring, and quality control as well as many others.

It is required to model the interaction of the acoustic wave both with the drop head through which the liquid is transmitted, as well as with the liquid drop itself, to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of the system, as well as to inform design improvements. It is anticipated that the modelling will take place using a combination of Finite Element Modelling for the drop head and liquid drop and a newer technique known as Boundary Element Methods for the wave propagation [2].

This project would suit graduates in the areas of physics, engineering, computing and mathematics, and would provide an excellent training in mathematical and computational modelling of real-world problems. Applicants must have a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree.

If you are interested in being involved in developing a leading-edge system that has multiple practical applications, then you should apply. Please feel free to contact either of the supervisors via email for an informal discussion. All enquiries would be welcome, and we are keen to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are manifested in our selection of candidates.


[1] A Wavelet, Fourier and PCA Data Analysis Pipeline: Application to Distinguishing Mixtures of Liquids M. Köküer, F. Murtagh, N. D. McMillan, S. Riedel, B. O’Rourke, K. Beverly, A. T. Augousti, and J. Mason J. Chem. Info. Comp. Sci. 43 587-594 2003
[2] Hybrid coupling of finite element and boundary element methods using Nitsche’s method and the Calderon projection. Betcke, T., Bosy, M., and Burman, E., Preprint, arXiv: 2106.01720, 2021.
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