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Transition modelling for improved correlation between wind tunnel tests and CFD

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr Zhiwei Hu  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Dr Zhiwei Hu and Dr David Angland

Project description

A PhD studentship is now available in the area of transition modelling for bluff body flows. The PhD studentship provides a unique opportunity to work on a relevant engineering problem at the Airbus Noise Technology Centre (ANTC), part of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

In most industrial aerodynamic applications (aerospace, motorsport, renewables etc.), the majority of wind tunnel experiments are performed at Reynolds numbers that are significantly lower than the full-scale Reynolds number. This leads to correlation issues between conventional CFD (which typically assumes fully turbulent boundary layers) and the corresponding wind tunnel tests. One solution is to fix transition on the wind tunnel model. Typically this is done using wires, grit strips or zig-zag tape for example. While this is relatively easy for simple canonical shapes, it is non-trivial for complicated, realistic industrial geometries.

This PhD will look at transition models in CFD to achieve a better agreement between simulations and scale model wind tunnel experiments. While there is information on the performance of transition models for attached flows around airfoils in the literature, there is relatively little information on the performance of such transition models for bluff body flows, e.g. wheels or cylinders. The outcome of this project will be a greater understanding of transition modelling to improve correlation between CFD and scale wind tunnel experiments on realistic industrial geometries. 

This PhD studentship will provide a good opportunity to work closely with one of the largest aerospace companies in the world and explore relevant problems in the aerospace industry. It will suit a student with strong mathematical and computational skills. While the focus is primarily on computational methods, there is also an opportunity to perform wind tunnel experiments for correlation data using the extensive wind tunnel facilities at the University of Southampton.

The Airbus Noise Technology Centre (ANTC) ( was opened in November 2008 at the University of Southampton. It is the result of the long standing collaboration between Airbus and the University on a range of research and development projects. The centre brings together academic staff, research fellows and PhD students using state-of-the-art computer simulations and wind tunnel testing to solve industrially relevant problems.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 October 2022 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Zhiwei Hu

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: [Email Address Removed]

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