Phd Studentship: Nanoscale Interfacial Fluid Dynamics

University of Edinburgh - School of Engineering

A fully-funded PhD Scholarship for 3½ years is available to develop Nanoscale Interfacial Fluid Dynamics modelling capabilities. Funded within a flagship £3.4M EPSRC Programme Grant awarded to Prof Duncan Lockerby and Dr James Sprittles (University of Warwick), Prof David Emerson (Daresbury Laboratory) and Prof Jason Reese (University of Edinburgh), the successful applicant will join our collaborative network of researchers designing next-generation nano-engineered flow technologies.

Project Overview

Over the next 25 years, nano-engineered devices and systems will play an important role in meeting major scientific challenges.

Emerging applications involving nanoscale interfacial physics include:

  • Targeted cancer treatments that exploit nano-bubble cavitation; low-emission vehicles with nanostructured.
  • Coatings; and micro-coolers harnessing heat transfer at evaporating nano-menisci.
  • The molecular nature of phase interfaces profoundly affects the performance of these nano-engineered flow technologies.
  • A fundamental barrier to progress is our inability to perform system-scale simulations while simultaneously modelling the phase interface at the nanoscale: these are intrinsically multiscale problems.

Our research aims to deliver a step-change in understanding multiscale interfacial flows by:

  • Creating a new framework for robust, efficient, and accurate multiscale multiphysics simulation of interface-driven nano-engineered flows.
  • Producing future-proofed and platform-independent software.
  • Benchmarking against application-focussed and theory-driven experimental data to provide unique insight into real-world scientific challenges inspired by our industrial partners.

During this PhD you will contribute to these research objectives through:

  • Developing novel fundamental theory in fluid dynamics and/or molecular dynamics.
  • Implementing new models on our High Performance Computing facilities.
  • Applying our models to future technologies with our industrial partners.

Research and Training

This research involves nine major industrial partners including: Airbus Group, AkzoNobel, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, European Space Agency, Jaguar Land Rover, National Physical Laboratory, Oxford Institute for Biomedical Engineering, TotalSim Ltd, and Waters Corporation and offers an exceptional opportunity for PhD students, including:

  • Collaborating with a large interdisciplinary network of researchers.
  • Attending national/international conferences to present new results.
  • Training in state-of-the-art engineering research, including advanced software development.
  • Industrial involvement/secondments with multi-national companies.
  • Collaboration with leading scientists, postdoctoral researchers and Visiting Scientists.

A short introductory video is available at:

Further information can be found at:


The research is rewarding and challenging, so applicants should have (or be close to obtaining) a 1st or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in applied maths, computer science, engineering science, physics, or a related subject with a strong mathematical content. Experience of high-level programming languages, particularly C++, and/or the OpenFOAM software would be an advantage.

The successful applicant will be located at Daresbury Laboratory, in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, working under the leadership of Prof David Emerson.


Please send informal inquiries to Prof Jason Reese at, with ‘PhD Application’ in the subject line.

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