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Secondary currents in rough-bed open-channel flows and their interrelations with the primary mean flow and turbulence

Project Description

Although the great significance of secondary flows for river processes has long been recognised, their origin, mechanics, effects, and interrelations with the primary mean flow and turbulence are still under debate and continue attracting close attention of hydrologists, geomorphologists, engineers, and, recently, stream ecologists.

The objectives of this PhD are: (1) to advance the theoretical framework for studying secondary flows in straight channels, (2) to clarify interrelations between turbulence and secondary flows, and (3) to identify secondary flow effects on hydraulic resistance, sediment dynamics, and mixing. The key project methodology is experimental, involving experiments in a large flume and Particle Image Velocimetry.

The successful candidate should have, or expect to have, an Honours Degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or Civil Engineering or Aerospace Engineering or Physics.

Essential background: Fluid Mechanics, Open-Channel Hydraulics, Turbulence, Roughness effects, Sediment Transport.

Knowledge of: Engineering Mathematics, Fluid Mechanics (with focus on turbulence), Hydraulics, Statistical methods, Programming, Water engineering, Numerical methods.

Funding Notes

This project is for self-funded students only. There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to pay Tuition Fees and living expenses, from their own resources, for the duration of study.


Nikora, V., & Roy, A.G. Secondary flows in rivers: theoretical framework, recent advances, and current challenges. In Gravel Bed Rivers: Processes, Tools, Environments, edited by M. Church, P.M. Biron, and A.G. Roy, London, Wiley and Sons, 2012, 3-22


This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Engineering. Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing.

NOTE CLEARLY THE NAME OF THE SUPERVISOR AND EXACT PROJECT TITLE YOU WISH TO BE CONSIDERED FOR ON THE APPLICATION FORM. Applicants are limited to applying for a maximum of 2 projects. Any further applications received will be automatically withdrawn.

Informal inquiries can be made to Prof V Nikora ([email protected]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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