Conduct research under the supervision of experts in our mechanical engineering research centres. Access leading facilities including microgas turbines, cavitation facilities, transonic wind tunnel and thermal fluid test facilities
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Our Thermofluid Research Centre is a world-leader in microgas turbines and founder of the European Microgas Turbine Forum. We also host the National Institute of Cavitation.
Our Aerodynamics and Flow Control Research Centre focuses on these two fundamental areas, as well as emerging disciplines such as bio-fluid mechanics, renewable energy and micro-fluidics. We are part of the National Wind Tunnel Facility, which recognises research-intensive universities demonstrating best practice in aerodynamics.
Our staff have academic and industry backgrounds and are experts in the industrial application of theory and research. Our graduates go on to impressive careers for businesses like Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Dyson.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics has strong expertise in the area of Fluids Engineering. With its multidisciplinary roles, it has made major impact on engineering systems on land, sea, in the air and in outer space. From nano-scale projects like medical implants to large-scale projects like aero-space stations.
Research students are central to research activity in the department. Our goal is to support talented individuals who wish to develop their research skills.
Research can be performed in topics related to:
- Computational and experimental fluid dynamics and their applications to IC engines
- Compressors and turbines
- Various fluid machinery (injectors, pumps, propellers, fly wheels, marine systems etc)
- Flow control
- Boundary layer drag reduction
- Supersonic flow
- Energy conversion systems.
In the area of CFD expertise exists in:
- The development of numerical methods and physical models for multi-phase flows and cavitation
- Turbulence modelling (LES and DNS)
- Fluid-structure interaction
- Phase-change processes (cavitation and vaporisation)
- Liquid sprays
- Combustion processes.
In the area of experimental fluid dynamics expertise exists in Laser diagnostics (LDV, PDA, PIV, LIF among other) and instrumentation of various sensors for recording the performance of various machines and wind tunnel testing.
There are currently 65 PhD students in the Department doing active research in a wide range of fluid engineering research areas:
- Controllability of Saturating Crossflow Vortices
- Influence of attachment line flow on form drag
- Cavitation Erosion
- Singing Propellers: Understanding the mechanisms and developing design
- The development of a method to estimate ship-produced atmospheric CO2 emissions
- Numerical Investigation of droplet impingement on non-flat surfaces
- Simulation of Flight Dynamics of Bee-Shaped Objects
- Modelling of Cavitation in Diesel Injector Nozzles
- Profiling for optimal application of screw compressor rotors
- Evaluation of multiphase flows at the suction of screw compressor
- Instabilities and Soot Formation in High Pressure Explosion Flames
- The optical characterisation of cavitation flow in diesel fuel injection equipment
- Real time simulation system for floating offshore wind turbine
- Numerical simulations on large ship motions under freak waves
- Internal Flow Characteristics of Multi-hole Injectors for IC engines
- Correlating Liner Oil Film Composition with Engine Oil Consumption
- Control of turbulent boundary layers using flexible filaments
- Design of Electric Vehicle Propulsion Systems Incorporating Flywheel Energy Storage
- An investigation into Electric Supercharging for emission reduction by means of engine downsizing
- Experimental and Numerical Studies on Oil Spillage from Damaged Oil Tanks
- Analytical and experimental investigation of a Micro-gas turbine for concentrated solar power applications
- Development of a 10-30 kWe waste heat recovery-organic rankine cycle
- Advanced design and manufacturing of screw rotor profile
- Increasing effectiveness of investment in aviation safety and quality
- Holistic Risk Management in Commercial Air Transport
For full details about the City PhD programme structure, please see the Guide for Research Students.
Applicants should have a record of high academic achievement. The minimum requirement is a good first undergraduate MEng degree or MSc in a relevant subject from a UK university, or a recognised equivalent from an overseas institution.
In exceptional cases, we will consider applications from individuals who has a BEng degree in a relevant discipline but with a first class honours and relevant work experience. We will also consider applications from individuals with extensive professional experience in the area of their proposed research.
Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants whose first language is not English. We require a minimum IELTS overall score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components.
Please note that the UK Border Agency currently requires us to confirm that you are at level B2 or above in all components of English before issuing visa documents.
For more information see our English language proficiency requirements at City.
If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than six months
- Students on courses of less than six months
- Students on a pre-sessional English language course.
For more information see our main Visa page.
Fees and funding
Full-time UK:£6,120 per year
Part-time UK:£3,060 per year
Full-time Overseas/EU:£18,360 per year
Part-time Overseas/EU:£9,180 per year
The writing-up fee for all candidates is £300.00 per year (max 1 year).
External candidate study of this course costs £2,080 (UK) or £6,500 (Overseas/EU) either as a part-time or full-time option.
Fees for doctoral candidates are charged annually and cover registration, supervision and examination. Fees are subject to review each year and are likely to increase by approximately 3% annually.
Support for PhD study
Prospective students are encouraged to explore doctoral Grants and funding opportunities such as:
- Commonwealth Scholarships
- School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering Doctoral Studentships
- Research Council studentship awards, if available.
Our bursaries are non-repayable sums of money granted by the University, usually based on need.
Our loans are repayable sums of money granted by the University or other body.
Our scholarships are when the University pays towards your Study fees. You may also be eligible for further funding.
Postgraduate Doctoral Loans
The Government has introduced a new Postgraduate Doctoral Loans scheme which can provide a loan of up to £25,000.
This will be over three years to support study for a doctoral degree.
A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. It can be used alongside any other forms of support you may be able to receive.
For more information, please see our Postgraduate Doctoral Loans page.
Some of our degrees may involve additional expenses which are not covered by your tuition fees. Find out more about additional expenses.
City has a well-established structure and processes to support your research.
All research students are appointed a supervisory team consisting of at least two supervisors. One of these will be designated as the first point of contact with personal responsibility for ensuring that effective supervision is provided.
The supervisory team will discuss training requirements with the candidate when study is commenced. We may recommend that a candidate takes a number of taught modules. You can benefit from the specialist Masters courses in the Department of Computer Science.
Research students are provided with a desk, PC and bookshelves in a shared office space and have access to shared printing facilities. Specialist facilities, such as the City Interaction Lab, are also available where relevant to the research topic.
All research students are strongly encouraged to contribute to our dynamic research environment and to attend regular research seminars and meetings.
The City Doctoral College can provide more information about graduate degrees.
How to apply
We accept applications on an ongoing basis for entry in October, January and April. Please see the requirements section above for eligibility criteria.
It is essential that you contact a member of staff in the department you are interested in. Here you can discuss your ideas for research (research proposal). Unfortunately, we will not be able to consider your application without this pre-requisite.
You are advised to submit your application at least 12 weeks before your proposed start date in order for us to consider and process your application.
Once you have identified a supervisor who will accept to guide through your research, please submit an application.
To apply online, an applicant will need to submit the following supporting documents:
- Research proposal. The Research Proposal should be a maximum of 3 sides A4. See guidance on writing your research proposal
- Copies of degree certificates and transcripts – original will be requested before an offer is made
- Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic)
- Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
- Evidence of sponsorship (if applicable).