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Prediction of Non-Spherical Particle Interaction and Agglomeration in Pipe Flows for Nuclear Waste Management Applications


Key facts

Type of research degree
Integrated PhD and Master
Application deadline
Wednesday 8 May 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Source of funding
Centre for doctoral training
Professor Michael Fairweather
Additional supervisors
Professor Jeff Peakall (Earth & Environment), Professor Timothy Hunter (Chemical & Process Engineering)
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, School of Earth and Environment, School of Mathematics
Research groups/institutes
Institute of Fluid Dynamics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics is now recruiting to this fantastic PhD opportunity in partnership with Sellafield Ltd.<br /> <br /> As a student on the CDT you will participate in a four year programme that combines an integrated MSc (completed over the first two years) paired with a three year PhD-level research programme. This gives you a combination of bespoke taught modules and inter-disciplinary research training.<br /> <br /> You will be part of a supportive cohort of research students with different academic backgrounds, all focusing on different aspects of Fluid Dynamics. <br /> During the taught aspects of your course you will receive a range of tailored seminars, lectures and practical laboratories to cover the computational, experimental and analytical aspects of Fluid Dynamics. This provides you with a strong background to the fundamentals of Fluid Dynamics. In addition you will have access to a wide range of personal development activities. Further information on the CDT is available here: <br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-right:-1px; margin-bottom:11px; margin-left:-1px">In nuclear waste processing, the management of multiphase sludge waste is critical to on-going operations which aim to transport aggregated waste to storage facilities. Such flows consist of an aqueous phase laden with high concentrations of particles. Generating understanding of such systems is vital to the success of post-operational clean out operations such as dewatering, containment and transportation. Numerical predictions of these systems generally use a point sphere-particle approach to represent the solid phase. However, in practice, particles possess complex structures such as needles, discs and cubes, and their agglomeration can result in more non-trivial particle morphologies, with implications for their trajectorial behaviour and interactions between the phases. To address this challenge and improve the accuracy of predictive tools, this project will develop, implement, validate and demonstrate a non-spherical Lagrangian particle tracking scheme capable of predicting particle collisions and agglomeration. To develop fundamental understanding surrounding these interactions, an immersed boundaries method will also be employed to explore the underpinning mechanisms of binary non-spherical particle interactions on the particle-scale. Relevant flow conditions will be predicted using high-accuracy direct numerical simulation. The knowledge and predictive tools generated will be of value in improving current operational efficiency and ensuring safe industrial practice.</p> <p><strong>Project aims:</strong></p> <p><strong>New Knowledge: </strong>New understanding of how realistically shaped particles transport, disperse, collide, agglomerate, deposit and are re-suspended in practically relevant flows, with assessment of techniques capable of manipulating and improving flow conditions within nuclear waste transport systems.</p> <p><strong>New Technology: </strong>Numerical simulation techniques, not available in the supply chain, for predicting realistic flows and for use in benchmarking more pragmatic predictive approaches used in and by industry.</p> <p><strong>Developing New Skills:</strong> Developing new numerical modelling skills in the area of non-spherical particles and extending understanding of particle science.</p> <p><strong>Maintaining Skills:</strong> Maintaining and developing use of first principles simulation techniques with applicability to a wide range of particle-laden flows of relevance to nuclear waste management and decommissioning.</p> <p>The project will contribute to the clean-up of the UK&rsquo;s nuclear waste legacy. The clean-up of legacy nuclear facilities, as well as waste clean-up and disposal, stand as matters of increasing urgency throughout the nuclear industry, with UK Government recognising decommissioning of these facilities and waste management as a national priority. UK government remains committed to nuclear energy&rsquo;s role in delivering a secure, low-carbon and affordable energy future, with nuclear power also helping to ensure diversity of supply, contributing to the UK&rsquo;s energy security and growth. Public acceptance of this strategy, however, requires a demonstrable ability to safely manage and dispose of waste, with acceptance linked to having scientifically robust routes for the safe clean-up of waste and its disposal. This project will contribute to waste management and clean-up through innovations that can be applied on nuclear sites and that are clearly socially desirable and in the public interest.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for <em><strong>EPSRC</strong></em>&nbsp;<em><strong>CDT Fluid Dynamics </strong></em>and&nbsp;in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Prediction of Non-Spherical Particle Interaction and Agglomeration in Pipe Flows for Nuclear Waste Management Applications</strong></em> as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Professor Michael Fairweather</a> as your proposed supervisor.&nbsp; Please state clearly in the Finance section that the funding source you are applying for is <em><strong>EPSRC&nbsp;CDT Fluid Dynamics</strong></em>.&nbsp; Additionally, you must state <em><strong>if you are able to self-fund your own studies for 4 years or if externally sponsored, confirmation that funding will cover your study for 4 years</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered after the closing date. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 8 May 2024:</p> <ul> <li>Please include a completed Fluid Dynamics CDT Personal Statement.&nbsp;<a href="">Personal Statement Proforma</a>&nbsp;(found in the &lsquo;how to apply&rsquo; section) &ndash;A Research Proposal is not required.</li> <li>Please include a CV</li> <li>Please include all transcripts and certificates for your degree(s).</li> <li>After you submit your PhD application on-line you may get a message requesting you to send hard copies of your degree transcripts and references in sealed envelopes. Please ignore this. We do not require hard copies of your degree documents at the application stage, we only require these when you arrive in Leeds to register for your programme.</li> <li>References are requested by the Admissions team on your behalf if you are shortlisted for interview. Your referees are emailed a Faculty Reference Form to complete and return by email. If your referees want to provide their reference on headed paper an emailed scan is sufficient for our purpose.</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics studentship in partnership with Sellafield Ltd, offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grantof &pound;19,237 per year for 4&nbsp;years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.<br /> <br /> This opportunity is open to all applicants, with a very small number of awards for Non-UK nationals. All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.<br /> <br /> <em><strong>Important:&nbsp;</strong></em> Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <em><strong>not</strong></em> covered under this studentship.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For futher information about this project, please contact Professor Michael Fairweather by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;or if you have any questions about the EPSRC CDT Fluid Dynamics, please contact the the EPSRC CDT Programme Team by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about your application or how to apply, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>