EPSRC Studentship - Design optimization of a centrifugal pump

University of Cambridge - Department of Engineering

The University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering seeks applicants for a PhD research project on the design of slurry pumps. Full funding may be available. The position is anticipated to commence in October 2017.

This project concerns the use of computational modelling and optimization techniques in the design of centrifugal pumps. Centrifugal pumps are widely used in industry for the transport of liquids.

This project aims to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools to establish a design for a pump impeller that offers optimal pump efficiency across a range of operating conditions. The project will entail the use and validation of appropriate CFD tools, in all likelihood the development of suitable surrogate models of the design search space to reduce the computational cost of evaluating candidate designs, combined with state-of-the-art uncertainty quantification and search and optimization methods.

The project is part of a collaboration with the Weir Group, a manufacturer of centrifugal pumps and one of the world's leading engineering businesses. The work will build on prior research in the Department and the Engineering Design Centre, in particular, on CFD, uncertainty quantification and design optimization methods.

Project objectives

  • A design optimization process tailored to the design of centrifugal pumps, combining state-of-the-art evaluation and optimization methods.
  • Improved impeller designs for target applications.

Desired skills and characteristics
Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in a relevant subject such as Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mathematics or Physics. The project will involve extensive computational work with the possibility that some software development may need to be undertaken. Experience with Computational Fluid Dynamics and/or optimization methods would be an advantage. The candidate will be expected to conduct work with collaborating organisations and thus should have good interpersonal skills and be prepared for some travel within and beyond the UK.

EPSRC funded studentship are available for Home and EU students. Home students and certain EU students will receive a full studentship including fees and Maintenance. EU students will receive a fees only award. Details on eligibility can be found of EPSRC Web site: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/eligibility/ overseas students are not eligible and should not apply.

Applications should be made on-line via the Cambridge Graduate Admissions Office before the deadline: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/apply/ with Dr Geoff Parks identified and the potential supervisor.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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