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Research Fellow in Hydraulics

Civil, Maritime & Environmental Engineering

Location:  Boldrewood Campus
Salary:   £31,866 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (30 months)
Closing Date:  Sunday 02 August 2020
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  1274920DA

Research fellow in hydrodynamics of algae raceway ponds

Algae raceway ponds are receiving increasing attention for their potential to produce micro-algae that can be used as high-nutrition food, by the cosmetics industry, or even as biofuel. However, in order to achieve economic feasibility, the efficiency of these systems needs to be substantially improved. Mixing within the raceway plays a central role in the efficiency of the system, by preventing algae from settling onto the bottom of the raceway, by ensuring appropriate levels of exposure to sunlight and nutrients and by maximising gas diffusion and exchange between the raceway and the atmosphere. Currently, this is typically achieved by a simplistic approach, whereby paddle wheels enforce a minimum flow velocity within the raceway, which requires substantial energy input.

In this project you will first perform detailed analysis of mixing processes within existing raceway ponds. This analysis will then be used to optimise the design of raceway ponds. We will be looking into innovative solutions for the design of both raceway ponds and corresponding propulsion systems. The work will be carried out through a combination of laboratory experimentation and numerical modelling. You will be working closely with our industrial partner, and will also conduct field surveys at a real-world, 400 m long raceway pond in South-West Morocco (although this will only be performed if deemed COVID-19 safe).

To be successful you will have the following skills, experience and attributes:

  • PhD* or equivalent professional qualifications and experience in Hydraulics or Fluid Dynamics
  • Strong interest and experience in hydrodynamics of open channel flows. 
  • Extensive experience in the design, and operation of either physical or numerical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) experiments.
  • Willingness to gain understanding of physical, chemical and biological processes leading to the growth of algae in raceway ponds.
  • An interest in the commercial impact of relevant research.
  • Experience with the analysis of mixing of particulate matter within turbulent flows will be deemed advantageous.

The post is available from 1st September 2020 and is full time for a fixed term of 30 months due to funding restrictions.

You will join the Water and Environmental Engineering Group and may assist with the supervision of PhD, MSc and undergraduate student projects in hydraulics and environmental engineering.

Equality, diversity and Inclusion is central to the ethos in the School of Engineering. We particularly encourage women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), LGBT and disabled applicants to apply for this position. In recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science we were awarded an Athena SWAN bronze in 2013 and 2016.   We give full consideration to applicants that wish to work flexibly including part-time and due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy*, onsite childcare facilities

 The University of Southampton is in the top 1% of world universities and in the top 10 of the UK’s research-intensive universities. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and being a globally responsible university and has recently been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.  Our vision is to embed the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our individual and collective work, integrating sustainable development into our business planning, policy-making, and professional activities.  This commits all of our staff and students to take responsibility for managing their activities to minimise harm to the environment, whether this through switching off non-essential electrical equipment or using the recycling facilities.

*subject to qualifying criteria

*Applications will be considered from candidates who are working towards*** or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon completion of PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.

**subject to qualifying criteria.

***Within six months of completion.

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Gustavo de Almeida (, Assoc. Prof. Gerald Muller ( or Dr Sergio Maldonado (

Application Procedure:

You should submit your completed online application form at application deadline will be midnight on the closing date stated above. If you need any assistance, please call Kate Pounds (Recruitment Team) on +44 (0)23 8059 5456. Please quote reference 1274920DA on all correspondence.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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