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PhD Studentship: An Experimental 3D Volumetric Study of Train Aerodynamics

University of Birmingham - School of Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th November 2023
Closes: 6th February 2024

The aerodynamic slipstream created as a high-speed passenger train moves through the air is highly turbulent in nature. In particular the wake region is known to contain a series of helical vortices, which spread laterally into the far wake region, potentially affecting the stability of trackside workers. Much of our foundation of knowledge for railway aerodynamics is based on full-scale and physical modelling experiments, which to date have predominantly focused on pointwise measurements at various locations to the side and above the train. The advent of more powerful 3D techniques, such as particle image velocimetry (PIV), have enabled researchers to better understand these complex aerodynamic flows. However, many of these studies are conducted in wind tunnel conditions, which do not correctly model the relative motion of the vehicle and the static ground.

This research will address this issue through a novel assessment of train aerodynamics using PIV techniques at a moving model facility. The aim of this project is to develop a three dimensional understanding of the slipstream development for different train types. The project will be achieved through a range of experimental studies at model scale using the University of Birmingham TRAIN rig facility. The project will be supervised by Dr David Soper and Dr Mike Jesson.

Requirements

Applicants should have a good primary degree (First- or Second-class Honours) or M.Sc. in an engineering, physics or mathematical discipline ideally with a focus on fluid mechanics/dynamics and good numerical modelling skills. The successful candidate should be highly motivated, have good communication skills and must be prepared to work within a multidisciplinary team and with other PhD students.

If you would like to join a supportive and inclusive team of multidisciplinary engineers, or if you would simply like to know more, please contact us for information.

Funding Details

The successful applicant will be supported to apply for internal funding available through the School of Engineering. 

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