This studentship allows the student a chance to explore fundamental features of high-speed two-phase flows of non-ideal fluids. These skills are expected to be sought after highly by industry.
- Qualification Type: PhD
- Hours: Full Time
- Title of project: Numerical and experimental investigation of turbo-expanders for organic Rankine Cycles
- Closes: 6th October 2022, or until places have been filled.
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on the design and commissioning of a lab-scale test loop to investigate the two-phase expansion of organic fluids.
The topic is of relevance to novel low-temperature power generation systems, which are suitable for applications such as geothermal, solar-thermal, and biomass applications alongside waste-heat recovery.
Of particular interest is two-phase expansion within organic Rankine cycle (ORC) systems which could lead to up to a 30% increase in performance compared to conventional ORC systems. This project forms part of on-going research within the turbomachinery and energy systems group focussing on the design of turbomachinery components for two-phase expansion.
The approach requires new scientific methods to predict and provide a detailed understanding of the performance of ORC expanders.
This includes understanding the impact of using molecularly complex fluids that exhibit non-ideal fluid behaviour has on design point scaling following working fluid replacement, and also on the off-design performance of ORC expanders.
This understanding must be complemented with suitable experimental test rigs to further investigate the fundamental physics of loss mechanisms, such as supersonic shocks in ORC turbines.
The overall aim of this project is to improve the understanding of ORC expander design and off-design performance through developing, and validating, suitable tools to accurately predict design point scaling and off-design performance of ORC systems.
Most notably, this refers to predicting the design and off-design performance of supersonic turbines. These tools will be validated through suitable experimental tests, and will then be used in steady state, dynamic, and techno-economic simulations of different cycle configurations.
The proposed research will afford the student a chance to explore fundamental features of high-speed two-phase flows of non-ideal fluids. These skills are expected to be sought after highly by industry and can also provide a robust foundation for an academic career.
The results of a successful doctoral thesis are expected to be of interest to emerging power generation industries which can help to provide clean, sustainable, and secure energy and meet 2050 net-zero targets.
The student will be encouraged to publish results of their research at leading international conferences and in top-tier journals. They will also be encouraged to communicate directly with potential industrial partners.
Eligibility and requirements
The candidate should have an upper second-class BSc/BEng/MEng (or equivalent, or higher) degree in Mechanical, Aeronautical or Energy Engineering, or a closely related field. They should also demonstrate an aptitude for conducting original research.
The candidate should possess a good understanding of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, preferably within the context of power generation applications and turbomachinery. Experience in experimental design and in experimental aerodynamics will be advantageous.
A candidate who demonstrates exceptional aptitude in one or more of these areas (as evidenced, for instance, through strong academic credentials or research papers in reputable, peer-reviewed journals/conferences) may be accorded preference.
A doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD:
- Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
- Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research
Having published high-quality papers in reputable peer-reviewed conferences and journals will be an advantage for the candidate.
The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000.
Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2,200 per annum on an average (max. is around £4,300 per annum) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to email initial informal enquiries to Dr Tala El Samad.
Visit our Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics research degrees web page for further information on making a formal application.
When submitting your application, enter the title “Numerical and experimental investigation of turbo-expanders for organic Rankine Cycles” and you will automatically be considered for this studentship.
You do not need to submit a proposal as part of your application as the project has already been outlined.
The online application can be found in the ‘How to apply section’ in the web link above and should include the following supporting documents:
- Copies of Degree Certificates and Transcripts in official English translation - 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 (minimum average score of 6.5 IELTS, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components) if English is not your first language.
The outcome of the selection process should be announced by mid-October 2022. The successful candidate will formally start their doctorate in February 2023.
For queries regarding the application process, please email the School.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
City, University of London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all its activities, processes, and culture, for our whole community, including staff, students and visitors.
We welcome applications regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or social class. For more information on our approaches to encouraging an inclusive environment, please see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages.