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Use of endwall contouring to improve the efficiency of gas turbines

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 05, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A key research theme within the Turbomachinery Research Centre (TRC) at Bath focuses on the flow and heat transfer in gas turbine cooling systems. The ultimate aim of the work is to produce greener energy through more efficient gas turbines.

In October 2015 the TRC was awarded a ~£1.2M research grant, in collaboration with Siemens, to design and build a start-of-the-art gas turbine test facility, specifically built for optical access. The project focusses on investigating the interaction mechanisms between the mainstream gas path and the cooling systems found in gas turbines. Understanding the losses these interactions create, coupled with the design of new architectures to minimise them, is key to producing the next generation of more efficient engines.

Since 2015, the TRC have been employing advanced optical measurement techniques to visualise the flow interactions found in a number of experimental scenarios. Volumetric Three Component Particle Image Velocimetry (V3V) and Planer Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) have been employed to provide unprecedented levels of detail in these highly unsteady and complex flows. The optics system itself is also unique to Bath and was designed in collaboration with the manufacturer as part of a strategic investment in the University of Bath as a centre of excellence in fluid measurement.

The success of the research programme’s first phase has resulted in Siemens and EPSRC funding an ICASE scholarship for a new postgraduate student. This PhD will focus on the experimental modelling of flow interactions in the presence of endwall contours; this concept uses geometric shaping of the gas path annulus to manipulate the flow field and minimise aerodynamic loss. Endwall features will be designed computationally, before being installed in the test facility and investigated experimentally using V3V. An aerodynamic probe will be used to assess the effect of endwall contouring on the stage efficiency.

This is an exciting opportunity for a student to join an established team of researchers working on an industrially-relevant research challenge. Although the majority of the PhD will be spent in Bath, there is an opportunity for the student to spend time working at Siemens as part of the programme, working under the expert guidance of one of Siemens’ chief engineers.


The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent).

English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Department of 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: 1st July 2019 (this may be negotiable)

Funding Notes

EPSRC iCase Studentship with Siemens. This is available for UK and EU applicants who have lived, worked or studied within the UK for three years prior to the start date. The studentship is for 3.5 years and covers University tuition fees (UK/EU), training support fee of £1,000 per annum and provides an annual tax-free stipend at UKRI rate (2018/19 £14,777 per annum).

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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