Microscale modelling of high-solid-content dispersions

High-solid-content dispersions of solid particles of size about 1-50 microns in a liquid phase (HSCDs) occur ubiquitously in industrial applications, from cement and ceramic pastes to cat- alyst washcoats, ink, paints and foods. The reliable and efficient processing and manufacture of these diverse products presents ‘grand challenges’ to formulation technology because at high solids volume fraction process flow and product behaviour become increasingly unstable and unpredictable. Understanding the rheology and predicting the flow dynamics of HSCDs also represent grand challenges in fundamental sciences and cutting-edge engineering. Our vision is to transform the practice through a tight collaboration of multidisciplinary academic researchers and multi-sector industry partners, to yield step changes in control and predictability for a given formulation–to ‘dial up’ required behaviour.

This PhD project focuses on developing advanced particle-resolved numerical method, coupling discrete element and lattice-Boltzmann methods, to simulate HSCD flows. This will en- able a move away from the assumption of a pseudo-continuous phase for slurries and pastes — known to be a poor approximation under high shear and stress conditions. This type of modelling will support better formulation of materials and understanding of the impact of processing conditions and thence how to better process them.

The student is expected to work in an interdisciplinary environment with close collaboration with the Soft-matter Physics Group in Edinburgh and the industrial partner Johnson Matthey, a leading speciality chemicals and sustainable technologies company.

An EPSRC industrial CASE studentship is available to cover both tuition fees and living expenses, starting before October 2017. The candidate must be eligible for an EPSRC studentship. Applications will be processed immediately. Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates are sought with a solid background in chemical, mechanical or civil engineering or in physics and applied mathematics. A good grasp of mechanics and experience in particle technology and computational modelling would be advantageous. Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and hold (or be expected to gain) either a first class honours degree or an MSc with distinction. 

Closing Date: 

Friday, September 1, 2017
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Principal Supervisor: 

Eligibility: 

Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates are sought with a solid background in chemical, mechanical or civil engineering or in physics and applied mathematics. A good grasp of mechanics and experience in particle technology and computational modelling would be advantageous. Applicants must be of out- standing academic merit and hold (or be expected to gain) either a first class honours degree or an MSc with distinction. 

Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.

Funding: 

EPSRC funded tuition fees and stipend available for Home students or EU students who have been resident in the UK for three years (International students eligible).

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: