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PhD Studentship - Computational Modelling and Simulation of Methane-Slip for Marine Engines

Mechanical Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference:  1335421DA

Supervisory Team:    Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, Dr Dinesh Kahanda-Koralage, Prof Dominic Hudson, Prof Damon A.H. Teagle (Ocean and Earth Science)

Project description

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced its mission to reduce the CO2 intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030 and to cut total GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050, both relative to a 2008 baseline. Switching fuel from conventional fuel oil to Liquified Natural gas (LNG) has significant environmental advantage, e.g., the potential to reduce CO2 emissions as well as significant reduction in NOX emissions by 85-90% (using a gas-only engine), and SOand particulate matter emissions by ~100% compared to today's conventional fuel oil. 

However, a remarkable increase of methane emission in recent years has been attributed to the increasing presence of LNG powered vessels and a consequent increase in the exhaust of uncombusted methane – known as methane slip.  If methane-slip cannot be effectively abated, it may preclude the adoption of LNG as a transitional fuel over the next decade or so, greatly increasing maritime emissions including CO2

 As such there is a clear need to investigate the combustion mechanisms taking place in existing engines and fuel systems not only to understand the reasons for methane slip with increasing LNG blends; but also to establish the impact of varied operating parameters and engine configurations on overall performance. 

Performing experimental evaluation and optimisation of the operation and control is both time consuming and very expensive. Advanced computational tools, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) offers flexibility and the capability for in-situ interrogative analysis in a shorter timeframe.

This project will be an academic-industrial collaborative project working with Shell and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI). The purpose of which is to develop a numerical modelling strategy of existing LNG reactors which will then be used to optimise the operating parameters and key geometric parameters to reduce methane slip.

Reaction modelling will investigate combustor performance for a range of operating parameters and geometric configurations to determine the impact of methane-slip. This project will require someone with a strong mathematical and/or chemical engineering background. Experience with computational fluid dynamics is essential. The applicant would need to have significant coding experience, ideally with computational fluid dynamics open source packages such as OpenFOAM.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Lindsay-Marie Armstrong, Energy Technology research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4760.

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 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Lindsay-Marie Armstrong 

 Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:



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