I am always looking for enthusiastic students to do research projects at Post-Doc and PhD level. Contact me if you are interested in one of the projects below!
Funded PhD projects in Fluid Mechanics
- Optimal mixing for confined heterogeneous reaction in NMR spectroscopy
Subject areas: Fluid Mechanics
Closing date: position open until filled
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is the most useful technique for chemical reaction monitoring because it simultaneously provides kinetic and structural information for all reaction components. Currently, NMR spectral information is inaccessible for heterogeneous reactions due to limitations in the design of NMR instruments. Heterogeneous reactions, such as immiscible liquid-liquid reaction systems or mixtures of solid particles in liquids, are common to many industrial chemical processes: from polymer synthesis to drug synthesis and catalysis. This PhD project is based on a proof-of-concept study conducted at the University of Manchester, which demonstrated for the first time how the limitations in the design of NMR instruments can be overcome. Through well-controlled mixing strategies, we obtained meaningful NMR data for heterogenous mixtures.
This project will involve a collaboration between a PhD student based in Mathematics and a Chemistry PhD student to study and model mixing strategies for heterogeneous reaction mixtures, in situ of an NMR instrument. The PhD project will have three components: (1) conduct experiments to measure and analyse the fluid mechanics properties of mixing strategies in confined NMR tube for various representative but non-reactive heterogeneous mixtures; (2) model the mass transfer resulting from the mixing and de-mixing strategies and its impact on reactive mixtures in order to guide the implementation of these strategies in the Chemistry project; (3) analyse the chemical and NMR data generated by the Chemistry PhD project to refine the models developed in (1-2).
The interdisciplinary and collaborative project is suitable for an enthusiastic and creative candidate who has good knowledge in fluid mechanics, some laboratory experience and is willing to learn modelling through numerical simulations.
Funding is available until September 2021 for Home & EU students, covering fees and maintenance at RCUK level, or a fees-only bursary for international applicants. International applicants would have to cover the remainder of both fees and maintenance at RCUK level.
To apply: click HERE
- Modelling convective mass transfer for cleaning and decontamination problems
Subject areas: Fluid Mechanics, Applied Physics, Applied Mathematics
Anticipated start date: position open until filled
Cleaning and decontamination processes can rely on different mechanisms to remove a patch of alien substance attached to a substrate. A shear flow covering the substrate can remove the substance through mechanical forces, potentially combined with chemical surfactant agent decreasing the adhesion of the substance onto the surface. However, this project is concerned with a second type of mechanism which is based on the dissolution of the substance into the cleaning fluid flow covering the substance.
This second type of cleaning process establishes a convective mass transfer between the alien phase and the cleaning phase. Several applications rely on this process, particularly when the dispersion of the substance is unwanted, such as in the decontamination process of toxic chemical spills. In our daily life, the cleaning mechanism more and more favoured in dishwashers relies also on a convective mass transfer as it has been shown empirically to reduce energy and water consumption. This project will focus on the case of a film flow covering a single droplet containing several substances. Many fundamental questions are still unresolved in this multiphase convective mass transfer problem. In particular, we will study how advection processes inside the drop can influence the convective mass transfer. Effect of solubility and surface tension on the overall mass transfer can also be analysed. The project will explore these questions using a combination of experimentation, numerical simulations and theoretical analysis.
The project is suitable for an enthusiastic and creative candidate who has good knowledge in fluid mechanics and some experience in experimentation and numerical simulations.
Funding is available and would provide fees and maintenance at RCUK level for home/EU students, or a fees-only bursary for overseas students. Competitive bursaries are also available for overseas students to fully cover both fees and maintenance at RCUK level.
To apply: click HERE