Research Associate in Acoustic-Flow Interaction Models for Thermoacoustic Instability

Imperial College London - Mechanical Engineering

We are seeking an excellent post-doctoral researcher to join the ERC-funded AFIRMATIVE project at Imperial College London.

The project will develop acoustic-flow interaction models for thermoacoustic instability. Thermoacoustic instability arises due to a two-way coupling between acoustic waves and unsteady heat release. It is a damaging phenomenon, and is the key barrier to low NOx aero-engines and power gas turbines.

Prediction of thermoacoustic instability relies on simplified models for the acoustic wave generation, propagation and reflection within the combustor. The acoustic waves propagate within a mean flow whose temperature, mean velocity and cross-sectional area can undergo significant changes along the combustor.  We aim to develop the first models which properly account for these changes, and to embed them in codes for thermoacoustic instability prediction. This will require excellent analytical, computational and team-working skills.

Duties and Responsibilities

Your key duties and responsibilities will be:

  • To derive and validate mathematical models for propagation of plane acoustic waves in an axially varying flowfield.
  • To derive and validate mathematical models for propagation of circumferential acoustic waves in an axially varying flowfield.
  • To embed these models in the low order network code (written in Matlab) developed by our group for prediction of thermoacoustic instability.
  • To prepare results for publication and dissemination via presentations, scientific papers, outreach activities and public/industrial engagement.
  • To be key member of the research group and perform reasonable tasks related to the project.

It will also be possible to contribute to the supervision of PhD students and Masters level projects and to contribute to Department teaching.

Skills, knowledge and experience

You will need:

  • A PhD (or proven research experience/equivalent) in Engineering or related discipline. An excellent Bachelors/Master degree from a reputable university would be considered an advantage.
  • A background in thermoacoustics, aeroacoustics or related fluid dynamics.
  • Excellent quality publications, with a publication record commensurate with experience.
  • Knowledge of programming languages, including Matlab.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal with a wide variety of people and to present clearly and professionally at progress meetings, conferences and seminars.
  • Ability to perform effectively under time constraints, and to demonstrate good organisational and time management skills.

Key information:

This is a fixed term position for up to 36 months.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,380 - £34,040 per annum.

Queries relating to the position should be directed to Professor Aimee Morgans at Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Miss Helen Stoneham at

Committed to equality and valuing diversity, we are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

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