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Turbulent Convection

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, May 13, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The University of Exeter EPSRC DTP (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership) is offering up to 4 fully funded doctoral studentships for 2019/20 entry. Students will be given sector-leading training and development with outstanding facilities and resources. Studentships will be awarded to outstanding applicants, the distribution will be overseen by the University’s EPSRC Strategy Group in partnership with the Doctoral College.

Prof Geoffrey Vallis, Department of Mathematics, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Prof John Thuburn, Department of Mathematics, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Project description:
Turbulence is ubiquitous in fluid dynamics, and it is the rule rather than the exception in convecting flow. Many previous investigations of turbulent flows are highly idealised, looking at the pure fluid dynamical problem in a very simple setting, such as pipe flow. However, in most problems of interest in the real world the turbulence is driven by radiative heating and enhanced by the effects of condensation. Examples occur in the natural world in stellar interiors and in planetary atmospheres, as well as in engineering problems involving complex fluids with phase changes.

The goal of this project is to understand how convection is affected by condensation and radiation.

A classic problem in fluid dynamics is Rayleigh-Benard convection, which is fluid flow between a hot and a cold plate. This problem provides the foundation of many studies in science and engineering, but in fact hardly ever occurs in nature. This project will begin by exploring how this problem is affected by radiative-transfer and condensation, using both numerical simulations and analytic calculations. The research will then evolve either toward applications in the natural world, such as stars or Earth’s atmosphere, or toward engineering applications, depending on results and interests.

This project provides PhD funding for 3.5 years, and will suit a student with a background in mathematics, physics or engineering who is interested in mathematical modelling and in particular in applying fundamental ideas to real-world problems. The project will use cutting edge numerical methods in conjunction with analytical techniques to bridge the gap between theory and application, and thus will provide training in both numerical and theoretical methods that will be useful far beyond this particular problem.

Funding Notes

For successful eligible applicants the studentship comprises:

- An index-linked stipend for up to 3.5 years full time (currently £14,777 per annum for 2018/19), pro-rata for part-time students.
- Payment of University tuition fees (UK/EU)
- Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £5,000 over 3.5 years, or pro-rata for part-time students

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