Research Associate in Fluid Mechanics

The University of Manchester - School of Mathematics

Closing Date : 29/10/2017
Employment Type : Fixed Term
Duration : From 1 December 2017 until 30 November 2019
Faculty / Organisational Unit : Science & Engineering
School/Directorate : School of Mathematics
Division : -
Hours Per week : Full time
Salary : £31,604 to £38,833 per annum according to relevant experience.
Location : Oxford Road, Manchester
Job Reference : S&E-10777

A postdoctoral Research Associate position is available to conduct research on the instabilities of fluid interfaces in narrow gaps. The research project, Transition to disordered front propagation, is funded by EPSRC. The overall aim is to extend the modern dynamical systems approach, as recently used to develop understanding of the transition to turbulence in shear flows, to help explain the transition to disorder in an entirely different flow: Saffman-Taylor fingering of a fluid interface in a Hele-Shaw channel. In shear flow turbulence, a key theoretical concept is the interpretation of localised turbulent puffs as edge states, weakly unstable states with a stable manifold that determines the basin boundary separating initial conditions decaying to laminar flow from those growing to turbulence. The fundamental hypothesis to be investigated in this project is that (known) unstable solutions of the Saffman-Taylor flow are edge states that underlie both the transition from the steadily propagating Saffman--Taylor finger to the experimentally observed complex patterns, and the dynamics of the patterns themselves. The Saffman--Taylor fingering problem is particularly amenable to analysis because it can be effectively described by two-dimensional theories due to its large aspect ratio, and, in further contrast to turbulence, the flow is at very low Reynolds number and so the only nonlinearities occur within interfacial boundary conditions.

This project will involve close interplay between numerical and experimental approaches to investigate the interface propagation and stability. This postdoctoral research position is intended to develop the numerical side of the project. Another postdoctoral researcher, to be appointed in January 2018, will be primarily responsible for the experimental research.

You should have, or be working towards, a PhD or equivalent in a relevant area of Physics, Applied Mathematics or Engineering. Expertise in fluid mechanics, stability theory and scientific computing are essential. Knowledge of finite element methods, object-oriented computing, free surface flows and modern theories of transition to turbulence in shear flows are highly desirable. You should be capable of working under your own initiative and leading a small research team, so excellent communication and organisational skills are required.

The School is committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for promoting women’s careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) in higher education. The School holds a Bronze Award for their commitment to the representation of women in the workplace and we particularly welcome applications from women for this post. Appointment will always be made on merit. For further information, please visit:

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Professor Andrew Hazel


General enquiries:


Tel: 0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel: 01565 818 234

Date of external posting: 29 September 2017.

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Further particulars including job description and person specification are available on the University of Manchester website - click on the 'Apply' button below to find out more.

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