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PhD Studentship - Design of propeller and propeller-energy efficiency devices for realistic ship operations

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1243320DA

Supervisor:                 Dominic Hudson, Joe Banks, Dominic Taunton (Maritime Engineering)

Project description

International shipping contributes ~ 3.1% of global GHG emissions, which without change may increase to 18% by 2050. Emissions from international shipping are not formally included in Carbon budgets, but they are included in the UK’s 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990. This places an urgent requirement on shipping to reduce its CO2 emissions. Around two-thirds of global shipping emissions derive from three vessel types, wet- and dry-bulk carriers and container vessels. Any effective approach to reduce emissions must therefore apply to these vessels.

Ships are normally designed for a single condition, representing one loading condition and a ‘design’ speed in calm water. Ships very rarely operate at this single condition. Designing a ship for real operational conditions (wind, waves, speeds, loading conditions) will lead to reduced CO2 emissions. This requires knowledge of a ship’s fuel consumption in waves.

There are currently no accepted means to predict, measure or analyse ship performance for actual operational profiles; an essential pre-requisite for designing for real conditions. The most reliable means to establish both power in calm water and power increases in waves is through scale-model testing. Almost all model-testing focuses only on ship added resistance in waves (drag) and neglects the effects of propeller efficiency, propeller-hull and propellermachinery interactions in waves. There are also uncertainties associated with scaling of results and limitation to the sea-states tested. Recent advances in computational fluid dynamics analysis (CFD) are starting to make this a viable alternative, but also typically do not include propeller efficiency and machinery interactions and are generally restricted to head waves. Prpic-Orsic and Faltinsen (2012), in a rare investigation into overall propulsive power in waves, concluded that in high sea-states the effects of propeller efficiency on fuel consumption were in fact larger than the ‘added resistance’. However, this study relied on quasi-steady modelling of the dynamic problem, based on propeller efficiencies measured at varied immersion depths. It also neglected the effects of immersion on torque.

Objectives This research project aims to quantify accurately ship added power in waves through (i) analysis of data measured onboard vessels, (ii) measurement and prediction of propeller open-water efficiency in unsteady flow conditions induced by ship motions in waves using the Boldrewood towing tank with detailed flow measurement (PIV) and motion capture capability, (iii) investigation of propeller-machinery interactions in unsteady operation, (iv) performance of realistic energy-efficiency devices (such as propeller-boss-cap-fins, or upstream ducts or fins) in actual conditions.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Dominic Hudson under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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