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PhD Studentship: Aerodynamics of Turbulent Flow over Rough, Porous and Compliant Surfaces

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: The funding covers UK/EU fees and stipend at the standard EPSRC rate
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th May 2019
Closes: 30th June 2019
Reference: AACE-AFM-564

Research Group: Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics

Project Description

The majority of surfaces in engineering and environment are rough, porous and/or compliant. For example, ship hulls that have been fouled by bio-films or barnacles are either rough or compliant or both. Similarly, river beds where sediment has been deposited or has range of vegetation growth, which is porous and rough. The roughness, porosity and compliance of the surface will substantially alter the performance of flow over that surface. In this project, we aim to understand the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of a turbulent flow over rough, porous and/or compliant surfaces.

A range of experiments will be performed in the wind tunnel and water channel facilities at the University of Southampton using different rough, porous and/or compliant surfaces. These will be manufactured using the state-of-the-art manufacturing methods. Measurements will include the use of a custom-built force balance, to directly measure the drag, and a suite of advanced laser-diagnostics such as particle image velocimetry (PIV), to measure the local flow structure, and planar laser-induced fluorescence (PLIF), to investigate the efficiency of the local scalar dispersion and mixing in such flows.

The results of this work will have practical relevance to environmental, transportation, and energy engineering by setting the groundwork for the understanding and parameterization roughness, porosity and compliance effects on the dynamics of turbulent boundary layer flows.

This work is part of a larger project funded by EPSRC and European Office of Aerospace Research & Development. The PhD student will be part of a larger group that has students carrying out experiments and numerical simulations of similar problems. This will enable interactions with others working on similar projects and provide an intellectually stimulating environment.

The results of this project are expected to be published in the field’s top journals and the PhD student will have the funding to attend several international conferences.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Bharathram Ganapathisubramani, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2305.

Funding and Eligibility

This 3 year studentship covers UK/EU level tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £15,009 for 2019/20. The funding available is competitive and will only be awarded to an outstanding applicant. As part of the selection process, the strength of the whole application is taken into account, including academic qualifications, personal statement, CV and references. 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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