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PhD Studentship - Data-driven simulations for predicting and controlling separated flows

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 July 2021
Reference:  1391521DA

Supervisory Team:    Sean Symon and Bharathram Ganapathisubramani

Project description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship working on data-driven simulations and control of separated flows. The PhD student will join a world-leading research team based within the Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Group at the University of Southampton, a member of the Russell Group and ranked in the world’s top 100 universities. 

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations offer valuable predictions about the behaviour of complex flows that can be used in aerodynamic design. For practical problems, however, high-fidelity simulations are computationally expensive necessitating trade-offs between accuracy and cost. The goal of this project is to lower cost and increase accuracy by incorporating experimental data from the laboratory directly into CFD simulations. In other words, we aim to obtain a better prediction of the flow field by combining incomplete experimental measurements with an uncertain model – a process known as a data-assimilation. The hybrid flow field will give access to quantities that are not measured, such as pressure, and be used to design flow control strategies that mitigate flow separation. The candidate will be performing experiments in the University of Southampton’s new wind tunnel facility and will be performing simulations on the university’s high performance computing facilities. 

This studentship covers UK level tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stiped at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £15,285 for 2021/22, for up to 3.5 years.

The funding available is competitive and will only be awarded to an outstanding applicant. As part of the selection process, the strength of the whole application is taken into account, including academic qualifications, personal statement, CV and references. Applicants should have a good first degree in aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering or a closely related field. Ideally the candidate should have some experience in experimental fluid dynamics and high-level programming languages, e.g. matlab or python, but it is not necessary to have experience in computational fluid dynamics to apply. The planned start date for the project is in 2021, preferably no later than October. 

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Sean Symon, Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 592 713.

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 July 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 Sean Symon 

Applications should include

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 


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