Transition to turbulence in hypersonic flow applications


   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

   Saturday, August 31, 2024  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Supervisory Team:   Neil Sandham

Project description

You will join a group of PhD students and post-doctoral researchers using high performance computing to advance understanding of high speed aerodynamics. Over the past decade we have developed efficient open-source software that enables us to run large numerical simulations with billions grid points on mixed computer architectures including CPU and GPU machines. A current project is preparing the code set for the next generation of exascale computing, including development of tools for analysis of large data sets

Transition to turbulence is one of the key unknowns in high-speed aerodynamics, extending into the hypersonic flight regime. Limited experimental data, often only available for noisy wind tunnels, needs to be complemented with high fidelity numerical simulations. In this project we will consider a generalised cone-cylinder-flare configuration that includes transition to turbulence simultaneously with shock-wave/boundary-layer interactions. The methods used for the research will be stability theory, direct numerical simulation and modal analysis based on simulation databases. On the project you will gain skills in advanced computational methods and data processing, working alongside a diverse group of researchers. You will develop your writing and presentation skills and have the opportunity to present results at international conferences and interact with other groups around the world.

We are particularly looking for UK national students, either having or expecting to achieve a first class degree in aerospace engineering. You should have studied fluid mechanics or aerodynamics to a high level, have an aptitude for computational work and have carried out successful project work. Early applications are welcome.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Neil Sandham, Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Research Group, Email: , Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4872.

Entry Requirements

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

Closing date: 31 August 2024. Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, the position will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding: Funding for tuition fees and a living stipend are available on a competitive basis. Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, so apply early for the best opportunity to be considered.

How To Apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study (soton.ac.uk). Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Neil Sandham

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact:

The School of Engineering is committed to promoting equality, diversity inclusivity as demonstrated by our Athena SWAN award. We welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age, and will give full consideration to applicants seeking flexible working patterns and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities, and offers a range of benefits to help ensure employees’ well-being and work-life balance. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.


Computer Science (8) Engineering (12) Mathematics (25) Physics (29)

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