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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


PhD studentship: Hydrogen fuel technologies for power and propulsion (HOPE)

Mechanical Engineering
Stipend :
Full tuition fees and tax-free stipend of £17,285 per annum (for 3 years)

About the Project

Current and future energy policies are increasingly aiming to reduce carbon emissions from the propulsion and power sector. There is growing awareness of the negative impacts of toxic pollutants from fossil fuels on the environment and on the health of urban populations. Hydrogen has the potential of emerging as the leading energy carrier for the next generation of zero-carbon combustion systems, with hydrogen gas turbines being able to span the power and weight requirements of land-based power generation and aero-propulsion. However, the utilisation of hydrogen for combustion is hindered by considerable challenges, such as flame instability and flashback.

This studentship is linked to an UKRI funded project (further details:, which aims to set out new design and operational principles for hydrogen combustors. The research will utilise both optical and conventional diagnostic tools to develop optimised strategies for hydrogen injection and efficient mixing with air, identify suitable operating conditions that result in favourable lean hydrogen flames with suppressed emissions and improve combustion stability. This work will enable us to fulfil the gaps in the understanding of fundamental hydrogen combustion, and to identify regimes for high efficiency and near-zero emission operation in practical hydrogen combustion systems.

The selected candidate will be embedded within a team of specialist researchers at UCL Mechanical Engineering and will regularly liaise with other academic and industrial partners associated with this project. The position will also offer opportunities to engage in teaching assistant activities, and work with researchers and engineers in the Energy and Environment group. As a PhD student at UCL, the candidate will benefit from training in high-impact research and high-performance computing, and access to state-of-the-art experimental laboratories. Furthermore, the candidate will be encouraged to publish work in leading journals and present findings in national/international conferences.

Person Specification

Applicants must have a first class of upper 2:1 degree in engineering, chemistry, physics or related discipline, with an interest in thermofluids, experimental characterisation, and data analysis. Excellent organisational, interpersonal and communication skills are essential. Background in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, design (CAD) and MATLAB is desirable.

Application Process

Eligible applicants should first contact Dr Midhat Talibi () quoting the job reference. Please enclose a one-page statement outlining suitability for the project and two pages CV (including contact details of two referees). The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be given instructions to formally apply online via the UCL website. For further information, click here.

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