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PhD Studentship: Seeing in the Dark: The Fluid Dynamics of Sediment-rich Flows

University of Hull

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Kingston upon Hull
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: From £18,622 per annum (22/23 rate)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 30th November 2023
Closes: 5th January 2024

Supervisors: Dr Rob Thomas, Dr Steve Simmons, Dr Gareth Keevil, Prof Jeff Peakall

Enquiries: eei@hull.ac.uk

Subject area: Acoustics

Project description:

Most fluid flows are highly turbulent and contain two or more gas, fluid, or solid phases. Examples include geophysical (e.g. turbidity currents, pyroclastic density currents, rivers) and industrial (e.g., food processing, water treatment and metallurgical slurries) flows. However, although they control the large-scale morphological development of the natural world, the dispersal of pollutants and the efficiency of industrial processes, monitoring such opaque, turbid, flows has been hindered by the inability of light nor sound to penetrate them. Full quantification of the processes driving particle motion- entrainment, transport and deposition- in multiphase fluid flows therefore remains the “holy grail” of process sedimentology.

This project aims to optimise the parameters of, and develop multifrequency inversion (e.g., see Rice et al., 2014; Azpiroz-Zabala et al., 2017; Simmons et al., 2020) and ultrasound imaging velocimetry (e.g., Dash et al., 2022) algorithms for, a tomographic (3D) ultrasound system, which for the first time will enable volumetric measurements of flow velocities, particle sizes and concentrations in sediment-laden, turbulent flows.

Experiments will be conducted on well-studied test cases (e.g. settling column, unidirectional flows in a pipe flow loop; Rice et al., 2014; Bux et al., 2019) to verify and validate the new instrument. We will then use it to quantify velocities, concentrations and bedform development within cohesive sediment-laden open-channel flows. The new instrument will help unpick the intricate relationships between fluid flow and sediment movement. It will also enable major improvements in understanding sediment transport processes and drive improvements in monitoring environmental and industrial flows. These advances have implications from river and coastal dynamics to palaeoenvironmental analysis.

Eligibility:

  • Minimum 2:1 Bachelors’ degree in a field linked to the PhD project. Note that we have recruited successful PhD candidates that changed fields completely. Quite often your skills are more important than specific knowledge that you have.
  • You can apply straight after a Bachelors’ degree, but you will need to show how you are competitive with those with a Masters:
  • Draw on skills you have developed in situations other than your undergraduate project e.g. student work experience, programming etc.

Apply now, by clicking the 'Apply' button, above.

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