Developing Self-Similar Solutions of Multi-Fluid Mixing Layers with Discontinuities - EPSRC DTP funded PhD Studentship Ref: 2936

About the award

This project is one of a number funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership to commence in September 2018. This project is in direct competition with others for funding; the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding.

The studentships will provide funding for a stipend which is currently £14,553 per annum for 2017-2018. It will provide research costs and UK/EU tuition fees at Research Council UK rates for 42 months (3.5 years) for full-time students, pro rata for part-time students.

Please note that of the total number of projects within the competition, up to 15 studentships will be filled.

Dr Andrew Hillier
Professor Beth Wingate

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Project Description
Similarity solutions are an incredibly powerful tool for investigating nonlinear fluid dynamics, and gravity or shear-flow driven mixing at discontinuities are no exception. These similarity solutions not only determine the temporal development of the mixing layer but can be used to determine the distributions of the averages of physical parameters throughout these layers, and as an extension of this they can be used to mathematically determine properties of turbulent flows that can develop in these layers.

However, in many applications there are also magnetic fields that need to be considered. Despite this wide-spread importance the mathematical description of self-similar solutions include magnetic fields are lacking. Recently developed methods by Dr. Hillier show that the classic similarity solutions without magnetic fields can be improved by formulating a multi-layered model using the conserved quantities of mass, momentum and energy to restrict the solution. This naturally leads to solutions of mean-field quantities that can explain a huge amount of the complexity these systems exhibit. The project for this PhD studentship aims to extend this concept to mixing layers that include magnetic fields through developing a self-similar analysis of the magnetohydrodynamic equations.

Firstly mathematical descriptions that include magnetic fields will be developed then uses to determine how the presence of magnetic fields alter the similarity solutions. From these, mathematically descriptions of the properties of the turbulent flows in these layers will be formulated. 

As part of this project, the successful candidate would be expected to attend conferences at both national and international level to present their research results. 

Entry Requirements

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in mathematics or physics, where preference will be given to candidates who have taken modules in fluid dynamics. Research experience in fluid dynamics is desirable.

The majority of the studentships are available for applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK and are classed as UK/EU for tuition fee purposes.  If you have not resided in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, you are not eligible for a maintenance allowance so you would need an alternative source of funding for living costs. To be eligible for fees-only funding you must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU.  For information on EPSRC residency criteria click here.

Applicants who are classed as International for tuition fee purposes are NOT eligible for funding. International students interested in studying at the University of Exeter should search our funding database for alternative options.


Application deadline:10th January 2018
Value:3.5 year studentship: UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate. Current rate of £14,553 per year.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Doctoral

How to apply

You will be required to upload the following documents:
•       CV
•       Letter of application outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to
        undertake the project.
•       Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.  This should be an interim
        transcript if you are still studying.
•       If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your current
        proficiency in English.  For further details of the University’s English language requirements please see

The closing date for applications is midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 10 January 2018.  Interviews will be held at the University of Exeter in late February 2018.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email:
Project-specific queries should be directed to the supervisor.

During the application process, the University may need to make certain disclosures of your personal data to third parties to be able to administer your application, carry out interviews and select candidates.  These are not limited to, but may include disclosures to:

• the selection panel and/or management board or equivalent of the relevant programme, which is likely to include staff from one or more other HEIs;
• administrative staff at one or more other HEIs participating in the relevant programme.

Such disclosures will always be kept to the minimum amount of personal data required for the specific purpose. Your sensitive personal data (relating to disability and race/ethnicity) will not be disclosed without your explicit consent.