The Department of Mechanical Engineering is offering two PhD positions working in the Energy & Environment Group on the use of hydrogen/ammonia for future power and propulsion applications. The three year PhD’s come with an annual stipend and fees covered.
Gas turbines are essential components of the future energy mix, with applications in power generation and aviation. In preparation for large-scale decarbonisation in the energy sector, manufacturers are developing turbines which operate on non-carbon fuels like ammonia and hydrogen. Although existing gas turbines offer considerable fuel flexibility, operation with these non-conventional fuels is still challenging due to issues of flame blow-off, flashback, thermoacoustic instabilities and pollutant emissions.
The development of advanced combustion technologies which are compatible with a diverse range of fuels necessitates a fundamental understanding of the complex mechanisms governing combustion and pollutant formation. Optical diagnostic techniques are extensively employed to study these phenomena as they enable highlyresolved, non-intrusive measurements of flame structure and species. Insights from these studies also enable validation of numerical models employed in the optimisation of turbine design. The project involves development of methods and strategies that allow investigation of combustion and pollutant formation phenomena relevant to gas turbines (GT) operating on alternative energy vectors.
The research will have a joint emphasis on advanced laser diagnostics and understanding flame dynamics in configurations relevant to industry, thereby allowing creation of high-fidelity time and space resolved data for modelling and design optimisation. The candidate will be embedded within a specialist and highly motivated research team at UCL, and the work has potential to directly feed into development of future zero-carbon emission engines. 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