PhD Studentship: Tomographic Temperature Imaging at Aero-Engine Combustor Exit with High Spatial Resolution

The University of Edinburgh - School of Engineering

Principal Supervisor: Dr Chang Liu

Research Institute: IDCOM

Contact email:

Advertisement end date: 31/05/2018

As the core of the aero-engine, the combustor must be designed to satisfy high combustion efficiency, low exhaust pollution, better stability and long duty life. When the performance of the combustor is evaluated, the temperature distribution at the aero-engine combustor exit is a critical factor, which reveals combustion efficiency, and particularly, the longevity of the turbine components. Once temperature deviates from the normal range, disastrous results would be caused due to the overheated or even burned turbine guide blades. Therefore, it is highly demanded to accurately measure the temperature distribution at the combustor exit.

Near/mid infrared laser absorption spectroscopy (LAS) has been widely used for line-of-sight temperature measurement along the laser beam. In combination with tomographic techniques, LAS tomography, i.e. tomographic absorption spectroscopy using multiple beams, provides a sensitive and fast-response solution for 2D temperature imaging in non-uniform flow fields.

The objectives of this PhD projects are:

  1. Tomographic optical sensor design towards high spatial resolution.
  2. Embedded system design for data acquisition and tomographic signal processing
  3. Experimental validation of the sensor on temperature imaging at aero-engine combustor exit.

During the project, the PhD candidate will be trained to develop tomographic sensors using advanced beam deflectors targeting mm-level spatial resolution. To sample the tomographic data from the optical sensor with high speed and high signal-to-noise ratio, the PhD candidate will deploy a high-performance embedded system (Analogue/Digital) and hardware programming (ARM/FPGA). In collaboration with the industrial partner, the designed sensor and system will be finally employed for temperature imaging at aero-engine combustor exit. The candidate should also be confident with trouble shooting and collaborating with industrial partners in the experiment tests.

In addition, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with industrial and academic partners, to present innovative results in international conferences, to publish high-impact journal papers, and, eventually, to deliver advanced laser-based technology to gas turbine monitoring.

Technical Queries directed to Dr Chang Liu on

Further Information:

Funding is available for this project: Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students can apply, but the funding only covers the Home/EU fee rate)


The standard stipend in Engineering is £16k per year in 2017/18, with annual increments.


In a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree.

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