Two Fully Funded PhD Studentships Development of Novel Methods for Design of Pumps and Propellers with Reduced Cavitation Erosion

Start Date: 30/09/2013


Two fully funded PhD studentships, which includes maintenance of up to 18000 GBP per year tax free and all tuition fees, are available for development of novel computational design methods based on 3D inverse design and automatic optimization for design of pumps under cavitating conditions in order to reduce cavitation erosion. The work is sponsored by Ebara Corporation of Japan.


Cavitation has a significant effect on performance of many critical hydraulic machines such as rocket pumps, industrial and marine pumps, cryogenic pumps, hydraulic turbines and propellers. Significant progress has been made in our understanding and modelling of cavitation inception and head breakdown. More recently considerable research effort has gone into better understanding of cavitation erosion. Cavitation erosion puts a lower limit on the size of pump stages and hence affects the total cost of pumps. In many applications trade offs between cavitation requirement and pump stage performance results in reduction of efficiency of the pump stage and hence increase in CO2 emissions. Despite considerable effort in understanding cavitation erosion there has been little attempt to exploit this improvement in our understanding of erosion to improve the design of pump stage  so that the effect of erosion is reduced.

Aim and Programme of Research

The aim of this study is develop novel computational design methods based on 3D inverse design approach and automatic optimization to design pump stages under cavitating conditions in order to create a platform for implementing the latest development in understanding of cavitation erosion mechanisms in design of hydraulic components. The work will involve development of new computational models in 2D and 3D. There will be close collaboration with the research team at Ebara corporation in Japan and the PhD students will benefit from a recently commissioned unique experimental facility at Ebara for rapidly measuring cavitation erosion.

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Key Requirements

Minimum Academic Requirements: A very good first degree (equivalent to a UK first class honours degree) from a prestigious institution in a relevant discipline such as Engineering, Mathematics or Physics (a lower rated BSc with a Masters will not normally be accepted as the equivalent of a UK first class honours degree). Candidates must also meet the University’s English language requirements.

Application Process

Applicants should in the first instance email their CV and a brief covering letter/statement to

Prof. M. Zangeneh. Interviews will be arranged for shortlisted candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be required to formally apply online via the UCL website.

Application and enquiries to: Prof. M Zangeneh (

Application Closing Date: 15/08/2013 

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