Deadline: 2016-04-30
Value of Scholarship: £14,057
Level Of Study: PhD

PhD Studentship in Design optimisation of a centrifugal pump

Cambridge University Engineering Department seeks applicants for a PhD research project on the design of slurry pumps.


This project concerns the use of computational modelling and optimisation techniques in the design of centrifugal pumps. Centrifugal pumps are widely used in industry for the transport of liquids.

This project aims to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools to establish a design for a pump impeller which offers optimal pump efficiency across a range of operating conditions. The project will entail the use and validation of appropriate CFD tools, in all likelihood the development of suitable surrogate models of the design search space to reduce the computational cost of evaluating candidate designs, combined with state-of the-art search and optimisation methods.

The project is part of a collaboration with the Weir Group, a manufacturer of centrifugal pumps and one of the world’s leading engineering businesses. The work will build on prior research in the Cambridge University Engineering Department, and Engineering Design Centre in particular, on CFD and design optimization methods.

Project objectives: A design optimisation process tailored to the design of centrifugal pumps, combining state-of-the-art evaluation and optimisation methods and improved impeller designs for target applications.

Desired skills and characteristics

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree in a subject such as Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics or Physics.

The project will involve extensive computational work with the possibility that some software development may need to be undertaken. Experience with Computational Fluid Dynamics and/or optimisation methods would be an advantage, but is not essential. The candidate will be expected to conduct work with collaborating organisations and thus should have good interpersonal skills and be prepared for some travel within and beyond the UK.

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Full funding is available for UK candidates including all fees and a maintenance allowance of at least £14057.00 per year. EU candidates are eligible for a fees only award. Overseas students are not eligible and should not apply.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Geoff Parks ( to further discuss the project details.

Applications should be made on-line via the Cambridge Graduate Admissions Office before the deadline:  with Dr Geoff Parks, identified as the potential supervisor.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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