PhD Studentship Advanced adaptivity in image-based fluid flow measurements near dynamic surfaces

The project:  Flow over interfaces is encountered in many engineering applications. Especially deformable surfaces such as e.g. pulmonary and blood flows, morphing wings and flexing membranes present complex fluid-structure-related problems. The inherent modelling of the fluid-structure interactions presents severe challenges in both Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and experimental research. Of particular interest is highly resolved, reliable experimental validation. 

Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a laser-based optical measurement technique whereby the instantaneous velocity of an air or water flow is deducted from the imaged motion of small suspended particles. Despite the degree of standardisation, serious fundamental drawbacks can be identified mainly in the analysis of the recorded images. Extraction of accurate velocity estimates depends heavily on user input and is consequently far from optimal. More importantly, in the vicinity of dynamic surfaces standard image analysis is unable to yield accurate velocity data.

This project will involve the introduction of geometry and flow dependent PIV image analyses. As a PhD student you will work on image processing algorithms, combining adaptive PIV image interrogation techniques with state-of-the art CFD mesh motion techniques. The novel approach will enable the extraction of reliable, well resolved velocity fields near moving interfaces, which is essential in the field of aero-elasticity, fluid-structure-interaction analyses, multi-phase flows, biomedical engineering, etc. Code development will consequently be combined with experimental validation in the experimental facilities of the University of Bristol.

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Candidate requirements: Minimum of 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in Computer Science, Engineering or Physics

Funding:  Available from September 2014. Due to funding eligibility, this scholarship is open to Home/EU applicants onl. Tthis studentship covers full UK/EU (EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to application) PhD tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of £15,000, (based on the current RCUK rate of £13,726 in 2013/14 plus an enhancement). EU nationals resident in the EU may also apply and will qualify only for PhD tuition fees.

How to apply: Please make an online application for this project at the apply button below. Please select <Programme title> on the Programme Choice page and enter details of the studentship when prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

Contacts: Dr. Raf Theunissen (

Deadline for applications: 16th December 2013

Studentship reference number: SS1210 

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