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Fluid dynamics of droplets


Expertise of research area
droplet; dynamics; evaporation; fluid dynamics; free surface; inkjet; Microfluidics; printing; spray; surface tension; wetting

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Liquid droplets are an important feature in many natural phenomena and engineering applications, and exhibit fascinating behaviour. You&#039;ll focus on understanding how to control and use droplets in various industrial processes such as: inkjet printing, medicinal sprays, surface cleaning and decontamination, fuel/water filtration, spray drying, atomisation, microfluidic systems and manufacturing.

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

<p>Liquid droplets exhibit many complex and fascinating phenomena, particularly when interacting with each other, with solid surfaces and particles, and when undergoing a phase change. As well as being a fundamental aspect of many natural phenomena, droplets are also vital in a huge range of industrial applications such as: inkjet printing, drug manufacture, medicinal sprays, emulsion formation, condensation control, surface cleaning and decontamination, pesticide delivery, fuel sprays, fuel/water filtration, powder manufacturing, spray cooling, OLED manufacturer, and microfluidic lab-on-a-chip applications. Controlling droplets in such systems requires understanding many aspects of physics including surface tension, wetting, evaporation, solidification, interface coalescence and break-up, mixing, heat transfer, convection, and reaction.&nbsp;</p> <p>Doctoral projects at Leeds are motivated by the above industrial applications and focus on understanding the fundamentals underpinning fluid mechanics, so that the processes can be developed and improved. Wherever possible, we combine complementary theoretical, computational and experimental techniques to provide the greatest insight. This is sometimes within individual projects, but often by linking projects that specialise in either modelling or experiments, especially when new experimental or computational techniques need to be developed.</p> <p>Experimental techniques include high-speed photography, droplet and spray generation and analysis, micro-PIV (particle image velocimetry), fluid characterisation and rheometry. Computational techniques include lattice Boltzmann methods, volume-of-fluid/finite volume approaches (including OpenFOAM) and finite element analysis.</p> <p>There is an active droplet research community in Leeds, with a monthly focus group led by postgraduate researchers,&nbsp;including members from many Schools across the University as well as the <a href="">Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics</a> and the <a href="">EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h5>Why do your PhD at Leeds?&nbsp;</h5> <p><strong>96% of our research is world-leading (REF 2021)&nbsp;</strong><br /> At Leeds, our research addresses the most prevalent real-world challenges &ndash; providing solutions that have had both a national and global impact.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Study in an active research environment&nbsp;</strong><br /> Studying your PhD with us means you&rsquo;ll be working in a professional research environment, using UK-leading facilities to bring your project to life &ndash; alongside active researchers who are at the forefront of their area.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>A strong network of support &nbsp;</strong><br /> The Leeds Doctoral College connects our community of researchers and can offer you the guidance, services and opportunities you&rsquo;ll need to get the most out of your PhD.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Close industry links&nbsp;</strong><br /> Our partnerships and links to companies and academic institutions give you the opportunity to network at industry talks, seminars and conferences, building connections that&#39;ll benefit your next steps after you complete your PhD.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Professional skills development &nbsp;</strong><br /> We think of the whole picture at Leeds. That&rsquo;s why we offer a range of workshops and courses that&#39;ll enhance your skillset further and transfer into your professional career.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Personal and wellbeing services&nbsp;</strong><br /> Mental health and wellbeing support are integral to who we are at Leeds and you&rsquo;ll have access to the full range of services we offer to ensure you&rsquo;re feeling your best &ndash; and reaching your potential in your studies.&nbsp;<br /> <strong>Join our global community&nbsp;</strong><br /> We welcome students, researchers, academics, partners and alumni from more than 140 countries, all over the world. This means, as a university, we&rsquo;re bringing together different cultures and perspectives which helps strengthen our research &ndash; and societal impact.</p> <h3>Useful links and further reading:</h3> <ul> <li><a href="">Research degrees within the School of Mechanical Engineering</a></li> <li><a href="">Institute of Thermofluids</a></li> <li><a href="">School of Mechanical Engineering, Research and Innovation</a></li> </ul> <h3>Leeds Doctoral College</h3> <p>Our <a href="">Doctoral College</a> supports you throughout your postgraduate research journey. It brings together all the support services and opportunities to enhance your research, your development, and your overall experience.</p>

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the <a href="">University&#39;s website</a>.</p>

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

<p>For queries relating to your research proposal or subject area, please contact <a href="">Dr Mark Wilson</a>.</p> <p>For general enquiries and details regarding the application process, please contact the Graduate School Office:<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 34 35057</p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h2>