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PhD Studentship: Passive Propulsion in Vortex Wakes

University of Southampton

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £18,622 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 3rd January 2024
Closes: 1st March 2024
 

Supervisory Team: Melike Kurt, Nicholas Townsend, and Gabriel Weymouth

Project description

Dead fish can generate propulsion force in the wake of a cylinder and whales can save energy by following large ship wakes. Such flexible unsteady bodies can achieve propulsion with no extra power cost. Your PhD will utilise a tandem foil system that leverages this inexpensive mode of locomotion using hybrid control gaits. You will investigate stable operation modes and performance for this robotic arm, learn different force and flow measurement techniques and generate novel in-situ control methods.

During your PhD you will engineer a novel bio-inspired propulsion and control system inspired by fish. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has awarded the University of Southampton with 3 PhD studentships in bio-inspired underwater propulsion. You will become a part of a UK-wide cohort of PhDs in this area, which includes students at other UK based universities.  

Motivated candidates with knowledge/interest in mechatronics, hydrodynamics, robotic design and experimentation, control and machine learning techniques are encouraged to apply. The PhD candidates will have access to a large array of facilities including Maritime Robotics Lab and Experimental Fluids Lab located at Highfield and Boldrewood Innovation campuses.  

In addition to the regular activities of a PhD, you will interact with other students in your cohort, organise industry facing workshops, and report your progress to DSTL.  

Come join our Bioinspired Underwater Propulsion cohort and learn novel ways moving underwater!  

Note: This PhD is fully funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). The duration of the funding is for 3.5 years.  Excellent candidates ineligible for ‘home fees’ may be considered.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please reach out to the project supervisor/co-supervisor: Melike Kurt M.Kurt@soton.ac.uk, Nicholas Townsend N.C.Townsend@soton.ac.uk

Entry Requirements

You must have an undergraduate degree in engineering (at least a UK 2:1 honour degree or its international equivalent). English-language skills are mandatory (minimum C1 level or equivalent).  

Desired Qualifications: A master’s degree in engineering or a related subject. Experience with mechatronics/robotics. 

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 01 March 2024, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, ‘home’ Tuition Fees and a stipend for UK residents and provides a stipend of £18,622 tax-free per annum (with ~2.5% annual increase) for up to 3.5 years. Excellent candidates ineligible for ‘home fees’ may be considered. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2023/24, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Melike Kurt

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

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

For further information please contact: feps-pgr-apply@soton.ac.uk

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