PhD Studentship: Thermohydraulics Modelling Capability of Passive Cooling Systems

The University of Manchester - School of Mechanical Aerospace & Civil Engineering

Lead Supervisor: Prof. Hector Iacovides

Co-Supervisor(s): Dr Tim Craft

Programme: PhD in Mechanical Engineering, PhD in Nuclear Engineering

Research Theme: Modelling and Simulation, Nuclear Engineering


Proposed Small Modular Reactor (SMR) designs generally make increased claims on passive safety systems including, in some cases, reliance upon natural circulation within the primary circuit as either an alternate, backup, or main cooling approach following reactor trip or a fault occurring.

This project will consider the challenges in modelling overall circuit behaviour under natural circulation conditions at a variety of pressures, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Modelling of bulk heat removal from the circuit, as well as local flow conditions and temperature, will be carried out and validated against available data.

The accuracy and computational requirements of the CFD predictions will then be compared to those of traditional and simpler “volumetric flow network” methods, which are routinely used in industry.

Suitable modelling approaches will then be selected and demonstration analyses will be carried out for both a candidate SMR design (real or estimated) and a traditional large Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) system (for which significant plant data and computer modelling exists).

Skills required:

Entry requirements can be found by selecting the relevant PhD programme at this link:

Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Programming.

Industrial Links

The studentship is co-funded by EDF Energy within the MACE Beacon Scholarship scheme. Funding covers stipend and full tuition fees for home/EU students. Overseas students will need to identify additional funding to cover the difference in fees.

The student will be fully funded as follows:

  • Home/EU Fees - £4,195
  • Maintenance - £14,553 per year

Information on standard fees is available here:

Information on typical stipend is available here:

Closing date for applications

31 October 2017

Project specific enquiries

Prof Hector Iacovides (

General enquiries:

General enquiries relating to the postgraduate application process within the School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering should be directed to:

Martin Lockey - Senior PG Recruitment & Admissions Administrator
Tel: +44(0)161 275 4345

Further information about how to apply can be found at:

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