PhD Studentship The Motion Of Particles In Complex Fluids

The flow of (or around) particles is of great interest to a wide spectrum of industries, but remains poorly understood.  The situation is exacerbated by the fact that advancements in technology have brought about extensive use of a wide range of rheologically complex fluids that are characterised by diverse and often significant deviations from simple Newtonian behaviour.  These conditions are typical of many industrial applications including most multi-phase mixtures (e.g. emulsions, suspensions, foams/froths, dispersions), high-molecular weight systems and their solutions (e.g. polymers, proteins, gums), foods, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, agricultural chemicals, polymeric blends, synthetic propellants, and slurry fuels. 

The proposed research will study the motion of fluid/solid particles in fluids of increasing rheological complexity.  The drag on a single particle moving in a quiescent fluid under isothermal conditions, will be studied as a function of the rheology of the continuous phase and other relevant parameters such as phase viscosity and density ratios.  The work will then be extended to study the motion of ensembles of particles including effects arising from particle interactions as well as effects of confining wall boundaries.  Experimental visualisation will be conducted using particle image velocimetry, high-speed video imaging and/or positron emission particle tracking to study the drag behaviour and the micro/macroscopic features of the flow such as streamlines, pressure field, stagnation point, and size and type of wake.

The candidate should be a UK/EU citizen and should have at least an upper second-class degree in Engineering, Maths or Applied Science. Due to funding restrictions, other international students may apply to do this research if they have full funding to support their studies.  Enquiries should be addressed to Professor M. Barigou  (

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