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PhD Studentship: Collapsing Bubbles in Complex Geometries using Laser-induced Cavitation

University of Southampton - Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: UK fees and stipend at the standard EPSRC rate
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th December 2018
Closes: 1st February 2019
Reference: AACE-AFM-394

One of the most violent free surface flows is the collapse of a cavitation bubble. The focusing of energy in such a collapse is strong enough to damage ship propellers, but can also be used to clean surfaces or enhance chemical reactions. The way that a bubble collapses depends on the type and the shape of the materials in the vicinity of the bubble. The aim of this project is to address a basic fundamental aspect of this energy focusing mechanism, by investigating the influence of complex surrounding geometries on the collapse of single bubbles. These findings can in the longer term be applied to make more efficient use of bubbles, for example in the ultrasonic cleaning of complex 3D-printed structures.

In this project, you will perform an experimental study on the collapse of vapour bubbles using laser-induced cavitation. Typical tasks will include the design and manufacture geometries that will you will test, perform experiments using a high-power pulsed laser, capture the bubble formation and collapse with a high-speed camera recording at 100,000 frames/second, and analyse the images for comparison with theoretical predictions. A successful candidate should have a background in physical sciences or engineering and have an interest in fluid dynamics.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Ivo Peters, Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4643.

Funding and Eligibility

This 3 year studentship covers home-rate tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.

The funding is only available to UK citizens or EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship and not mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education. For further guidance on funding, please contact

How to Apply

Click here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

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