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PhD Studentship on Computational Analysis of Hydrogen-blended Ammonia Combustion for Future Generation Combustors

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 17th June 2019
Closes: 31st July 2019

UK/EU students - Postgraduate - Newcastle University Value of award

Full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and annual living allowance of £15,009.

Number of awards:1

Start date and duration: 23 September 2019 for 3 years.

Application closing date: 31 July 2019.


In order to limit greenhouse gas emission, ammonia (NH3) is increasingly being considered as an alternative carbon-neutral fuel. However, the nitrogen content in ammonia poses a threat of increasing harmful NOx emission and eclipsing the advantages of eliminating greenhouse gas emission. However, the low temperature rise in NH3 combustion often limits thermal NOx formation but the heat release rate often becomes too small to power any practical engineering device. Thus, it is often useful to blend hydrogen with NH3 so that the desired level of heat release can be obtained without increasing greenhouse gas emission. However, the extent of H2blending with NH3-air mixture needs to be optimised in order to get desirable performances in terms of heat release and NOx emission.

The effects of H2-blending with NH3 on heat release rate, adiabatic flame temperature, and NOx emission will be computationally analysed in this project. This information will also be utilised to predict the impact on power output, NOx emission and pressure rise in typical ammonia powered gas turbines based thermodynamic cycle analysis. Three-dimensional Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of turbulent hydrogen-blended ammonia combustion will also be conducted in this project to reveal the differences in the premixed flame structure between NH3/H2 and hydrocarbon-air (e.g. CH4-air) mixtures. The data obtained from these simulations will be utilised to assess the validity of the existing models and devising new combustion models, which in turn will aid the design of next generation energy-efficient and environment-friendly gas turbine combustors powered by NH3/H2 blends.

Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Dawei Wu, Professor Nilanjan Chakraborty, Dr Andrew Aspden and Dr Umair Ahmed.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants should possess a good honours degree (1st Class or 2:1 minimum) in Aerospace/Mechanical/Chemical Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or any related field.

Good analytical, mathematical, project management and communication skills are required. It will be advantageous to have good knowledge of any of following areas: 

Computational Fluid Dynamics, Heat and Mass transfer, and Thermodynamics. Experience and interests in Chemical Engineering/Chemistry will be helpful but not essential.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

You will need to:

  • click on programme of study
  • insert 8090F in the programme code section and click search
  • select Programme name ‘PhD in Mechanical Engineering -  Mechanical and Systems Engineering’
  • insert ENG050 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • attach a covering letter and  CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code ENG050 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.


Professor Nilanjan Chakraborty ( or Dr Dawei Wu (

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