Enabling efficient high-fidelity CFD for moving geometries, Engineering – MPhil/PhD (Funded) Ref: 3159

About the award


Dr David Moxey, University of Exeter

The use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has increased dramatically over the last decade, with CFD simulations becoming common practice in the advanced engineering design of modern cars, aircraft and renewable energy devices such as wind turbines. At Exeter, the PI of this project is developing highly accurate time-dependent fluid dynamics solvers for CFD simulations using novel numerical methods. These methods provide much greater resolution and accuracy compared with current industry-standard tools and commercial software, as they can more efficiently use modern computing hardware, including large supercomputers comprising of hundreds of thousands of processors. These tools have the potential to investigate complex fluid dynamics problems at a level of unprecedented detail and offer new insights into complex fluid flows.

A common feature in all of the aforementioned research areas is the necessity to model moving geometries, such as the blades of a wind turbine or the fan or rotors of a jet engine. The successful candidate under this funded PhD studentship will work to extend these high-fidelity methods to accurately model rotating features, investigating how these can be applied efficiently in the context of extremely large, parallel simulations. These developments will be performed inside the open-source Nektar++ spectral element framework (www.nektar.info), and then applied to engineering practice in problems of interest to academically relevant flow problems including various industrial partners, with a particular emphasis on turbomachinery applications.

This award provides annual funding to cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,777 per year tax-free stipend.  The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in September 2018.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an area that includes knowledge of aeronautical engineering and/or scientific computing (e.g. engineering, applied mathematics or physics). Previous programming knowledge and/or experience with high-performance computing is highly desirable, particularly in languages involving object-orientated programming such as C++.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents. 

• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Research proposal
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to stemm-pgr-admissions@exeter.ac.uk quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English

The closing date for applications is midnight on 20 July 2018.  Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham the week commencing 30 July 2018

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email stemm-pgr-admissions@exeter.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)1392 722730.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.

Please quote reference 3159 on your application and in any correspondence about this project.


Application deadline:20th July 2018
Number of awards:1
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Postgraduate Research Office stemm-pgr-admissions@exeter.ac.uk