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PhD Studentship: Numerical Investigation of the Flow and Structural Deflections in Advanced Adaptable Seals that Operate in Harsh Environments within Rotating Machinery

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Funding Annual stipend (£15,609 per annum in 2021-22) and UK fees covered
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 30th November 2021
Closes: 31st January 2022
Reference: PGR-2122-078

Numerical Investigation of the Flow and Structural Deflections in Advanced Adaptable Seals that Operate in Harsh Environments within Rotating Machinery

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Surrey. The candidate will conduct numerical investigations into the effect of highly swirling inlet flow and fluid structure interaction in adaptable shaft seals for rotating machinery including gas and steam turbines. Given the broad requirement for effective seals in industry, this technology has an important role to play in the journey to net-zero.”

The aim of this project is to investigate the flow and dynamic effects in advanced compliant seals and to propose improvements in the design which result in more robust sealing technologies and lower fuel burn. The project builds on previous work at Surrey that has developed computational models of the fluid flow and structural deflections, including the Surrey University Brush Seal Iterative Simulator (SUBSIS) mechanical model. You will use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and SUBSIS to capture the coupled aerodynamic and structural behaviour of these seal types, and to be able to provide design insights that can inform future applications. The project will initially focus on inlet swirl and fluid-structure interaction, and means by which the inlet flow can be conditioned to mitigate the risk of flow-induced instability. The project will later consider the dynamic behaviour of adaptable seals under conditions of aerodynamic and transient shaft loading for two promising variants of seal.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with supervisors Dr Michael Pekris and Professor John Chew, and a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and within the Centre for Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow. There will also be opportunity to interact with collaborating partners at the University of Bath, Cross Manufacturing Ltd, and Rolls-Royce plc. The PhD studentship is offered as part of a wider EPSRC funded project entitled ‘Brush seal Resistance to Inlet Swirl and Transient Loading Effects (BRISTLE)’. This will deliver insight and understanding of important physical mechanisms that can lead to improvements in the state of the art, hence contributing a positive step towards achieving clean aviation and to meeting ambitious environmental targets by 2050.

Supervisor 1: Dr Michael Pekris  

Supervisor 2: Prof John Chew  https://www.surrey.ac.uk/people/john-chew

More about the School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences  

More about the Centre for Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow  please visit: .

Research Group Centre for Aerodynamics and Environmental Flow

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first class or a good upper second degree in engineering or a related subject. Experience in programming, or willingness to develop this skill, would be desirable.

IELTS Academic 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing, or equivalent

How to apply

For informal enquiries prior to or following application submission please contact: Dr Michael Pekris (m.pekris@surrey.ac.uk).

Formal applications should be submitted through our programme page http://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/aerodynamic-and-environmental-flow-phd#apply.

Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application, and provide details of two referees.

The University of Surrey is committed to equality of opportunity in employment and offers many opportunities to help researchers develop as independent researchers.

Funding Annual stipend (£15,609 per annum in 2021-22) and UK fees covered

Start Date April 2022

Deadline 31 January 2022

Studentship ref PGR-2122-078

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