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Turbomachinery Research Centre, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Dr Hui Tang , Dr James Scobie , Prof G Lock No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
Bath United Kingdom Aerospace Engineering Applied Mathematics Fluid Mechanics Mechanical Engineering Thermodynamics

About the Project

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project commencing in October 2021.

Funding is available to candidates who qualify for ‘Home’ fee status. Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the rules governing fee status have changed and, therefore, candidates from the EU/EEA are advised to check their eligibility before applying. Please see the Funding Eligibility section below for more information.

Project team: Dr Tang, Dr Scobie & Prof. Lock

Informal queries should be directed to Dr Tang - [Email Address Removed]


The next generation of aero-engines will require an increase in the total pressure ratio in order to improve efficiency and meet environmental targets. This will decrease the height of the compressor blades, and with current clearance-control technology this would result in increased aerodynamic losses and flow instability. Therefore, the next generation of aeroengines requires improved blade-clearance control. The blade clearance is controlled by the radial growth of the discs, which is strongly affected by the temperature distribution and in turn the heat transfer in rotating cavities. For aeroengines, in which the conditions change for take-off, cruise and landing, the prediction of the transient heat transfer is important. At present, designers tend to use empirical correlations or computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The correlations are quick to compute but are often inaccurate; CFD is expensive and time-consuming, making it impractical for the iterative procedures that are used in the design process. Hence it is important to create fast and accurate theoretical models of transient heat transfer in compressor cavities. It is therefore the object of this project to develop theoretical models of transient heat transfer in compressor rotors and validate the models through experiments on the compressor rig at the University of Bath. The project’s goal will be achieved via delivering on the following objectives: (1) Develop theoretical and computational models to predict transient heat transfer in compressor cavities and its effects on the temperature, stress and radial growth of compressor rotors. (2) Validate the models using experimental data collected from the multi-cavity rig at the University of Bath. (3) Implement the models in collaboration with engine manufacturers. The proposed project will be developed within the Turbomachinery Research Centre (TRC) at the University of Bath. The centre is worldwide known for the development of theoretical models and experimental facilities for the investigation of the flow in rotating cavities in gas turbines. The centre has industrial collaborations with Siemens and Rolls Royce. The models developed from the project will be of direct use to the engine manufacturers.

Candidate Requirements:

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second Class Honours degree (or the equivalent). A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.


Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Expected start date: 4 October 2021


Funding Eligibility:

In order to be considered for a studentship, you must qualify as a ‘Home’ student. The UK Government has not yet published the relevant Fee Regulations for courses commencing in 2021/22; however, our current understanding is that the main categories of students likely to qualify for ‘Home’ fees are (subject to confirmation by the UK Government):

·        UK nationals (meeting residency requirement*)

·        Irish nationals resident in the UK/Ireland since at least September 2018

·        EU/EEA applicants with settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (meeting residency requirement*)

·        Applicants with indefinite leave to enter/remain in the UK (meeting residency requirement*)

*Residency requirement: in most cases applicants must have lived in the UK, EU, EEA or Switzerland continuously since September 2018.

EU/EEA citizens who live outside the UK are unlikely to be eligible for ‘Home’ fees and funding.

Up-to-date information may be found on our fee status guidance webpage and on the UKCISA website

Funding Notes

A studentship includes ‘Home’ tuition fees, a stipend (£15,609 per annum, 2021/22 rate) and research/training expenses (£1,000 per annum) for up to 3.5 years.

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