Skip to main content

Fluid dynamics of droplets

PGR-RA-115

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


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

Liquid droplets are an important feature in many natural phenomena and engineering applications and exhibit fascinating behaviour. Here we 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 in Leeds are motivated by the above industrial applications and focus on understanding the fundamental 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. 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 Univversity as well as the <a href="https://fluids.leeds.ac.uk/">Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics</a> and the <a href="https://fluid-dynamics.leeds.ac.uk/">EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Useful links and further reading:</h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/mechanical-engineering-research-degrees">Research degrees within the School of Mechanical Engineering</a></li> <li><a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/mechanical-engineering-research-thermofluids/doc/institute-thermofluids">Institute of Thermofluids</a></li> <li><a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/mechanical-engineering-research-innovation">School of Mechanical Engineering, Research and Innovation</a></li> </ul> <h3>Leeds Doctoral College</h3> <p>Our <a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130558/leeds_doctoral_college">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="http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">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="https://engineering.leeds.ac.uk/staff/120/dr_mark_wilson">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="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a>, t: +44 (0)113 34 35057</p>


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