fluid mechanics | Scholarship for Nigerians and Africans

2 International PhD Studentships in Aeroacoustics, University of Cambridge, UK

The studentships are to investigate air movement for high efficiency and low noise in the power range used for domestic applications. The projects involve a study of unsteady fluid mechanics, flow instability and acoustics and each have an experimental and a model component. This is a unique opportunity to address a real design challenge with a leading company through original research, which will have wider impacts on the acoustic emissions of many other sub 1kW air moving machines.

The studentships are to commence in October 2011.

Project 1: Towards a Silent Fan

The Dyson Air Multiplier’s striking design offers many advantages in operation: the airflow it generates is free of the turbulence associated with conventional fans; it is efficient, easy to clean and as quiet as other fans. The aim of this project is to take the design even further and create the ultimate low-noise fan while staying within a strict design envelope. The cooling airflow involves no moving blades and is at a low enough speed that the noise from this flow is not significant. This means that the focus of the project will be on novel, quiet internal flow components. Components of interest will be: the impeller blades that produce tonal noise, which is enhanced by interactions with the inlet and outlet geometry; and sections of the flow path with abrupt curvature that can cause local separations, wakes and noise. In this project we will develop simplified models to predict noise generated from the individual components (impeller, guide vanes, air jet, etc) and their interaction and integrate these ideas to develop design rules for reducing noise. The project aims to determine the lowest noise level that can be achieved for a fan with given air flow-rate, air speed and efficiency, and to develop design concepts that can achieve it.

Project 2: Aeroacoustics of Cyclone Separators

Cyclones are complex three-dimensional flows that swirl about a central column of fluid inline with the axis of rotation. The column consists of a solid-body rotation that at low flow speeds do not show large instabilities. However as the flow speed increases, the vortex core deforms into a rotating spiral and begins to precess around the central axis. The instability leads to a temporally periodic motion that results in a tonal noise. It is suspected that the frequency of the processing vortex core has a relationship with the frequency of the observed sound.

The main objectives of the project are to develop a model for the precessing vortex core and to discover ways of controlling noise either by suppressing the periodic flow instability passively, actively or by applying anti-sound control¬.

The challenge is to stabilise the flow or reduce the noise without introducing a loss in performance either in the form of pressure drop or particle separation.

The solution could have a wide range of applicability from vacuum cleaners to helicopter intakes and Ranque-Hilsch vortex tubes used for refrigeration.


The application is open to nationals of any country, but full tuition fees are not covered for overseas (non-EU) students. Stipends for 2010-2011 are 13,290 GBP, and available for 3 years. Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree in aerospace, mechanical or acoustical engineering, physics or related fields.

Scholarship Application Deadline:
6 May 2011

Further Scholarship Information and Application

2011 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Computational Sciences at RCAS in Nankang, Taiwan

The theory group in RCAS is carrying on a joint project for the development of multi-scale simulation tools. The goal is to integrate the electronic, transport, optical, mechanic properties into a software package suitable for the simulation at the level of devices (or a certain size of molecular structures). The main duty of the job is to develop and integrate various codes in different areas of physics/engineering together for comprehensive modeling.

We are looking for two potential candidates in the following two categories, respectively:
1. Ab inito computations in schemes such as density-functional theory (DFT) or similar approaches.
2. Computational electromagnetism/elasticity/optics/fluid mechanics.
1. The potential candidates must have an extensive numerical coding experience in one of the areas mentioned above, and the knowledge of linux-based environment.
2. Candidates with experiences in parallel programming may be given priority. In accordance to the salary scale of Academia Sinica, but negotiable. The appointments are for one year and renewable if there is good progress.

Scholarship Application Deadline:2011.03.15

Further Scholarship Information and Application

PhD Scholarship in Experimental Fluid Mechanics, University of Sydney, Australia

The Faculty of Engineering & IT of the University of Sydney, Australia, invites applications for a PhD position beginning in August 2011. The purpose of the project is to explore the interactions of the atmospheric boundary layer in complex terrains (topography and surface heterogeneity) with wind turbines. The successful candidate will carry out experimental studies (using stereo-PIV, tomo-PIV and hot-wire anemometry) in the 25-m long Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel of the School of Civil Engineering. The successful applicant will join a team that aims to develop and validate turbulence models that will be used to predict and study the effects o f complex atmospheric boundary layers on wind turbine wakes.
Applicants should have a Master in Engineering or Physics (or equivalent) and experience in at least one of the following areas: Wind Tunnel Testing, PIV, Atmospheric Boundary Layer, or, Wind Turbine Aerodynamics.The scholarship stipend is valued at $25,000 per annum (tax exempt) for up to three years. A tuition fee scholarship of up to A$ 30,000 per annum is also being offered if tuition fees are payable.

Scholarship Application Deadline:30 March 2011

Further Scholarship Information and Application