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Fouling reduction in Heat Pipe Heat Exchangers using design and CFD tools

The PhD student will thoroughly investigate fooling in Heat pipe based heat exchangers used in industrial waste heat recovery. After building a solid theoretical background on fooling in heat exchangers, the student will aim at modelling fouling using CFD tools and comparing it to the theory. Once the doctoral researcher has gained enough experience of simulating and modelling the apparition of fouling in heat pipe heat exchangers, new designs solutions are expected to be developed to reduce the fouling phenomenon. The new designs are expected to be validated using theory, CFD simulation and Experiments.

The research will mainly focus on the gas/solid interactions and on the formation of fouling in Heat pipe based heat exchanger. The researcher will be challenged to increase his/her theoretical, design, CFD (Computational Fluid dynamics) simulation skills, and Experimental skills and publish quality articles in international conference and journals.

The student should show interest into developing their design and CFD simulation skills while contributing to develop new environmentally-friendly solutions for heat pipe based heat exchangers. It is also expected from the student to show why this research suits their personal expectation and career plan.


[1] H. Mroue, J. B. Ramos, L. C. Wrobel, and H. Jouhara, “Performance evaluation of a multi-pass air-to-water thermosyphon-based heat exchanger,” Energy, vol. 139, pp. 1243–1260, Nov. 2017.

[2] H. Mroue, J. B. Ramos, L. C. Wrobel, and H. Jouhara, “Experimental and numerical investigation of an air-to-water heat pipe-based heat exchanger,” Appl. Therm. Eng., vol. 78, pp. 339–350, Mar. 2015.

[3] B. Delpech, B. Axcell, and H. Jouhara, “Experimental investigation of a radiative heat pipe for waste heat recovery in a ceramics kiln,” Energy, vol. 170, pp. 636–651, Mar. 2019.

[4] H. Jouhara, B. Fadhl, and L. C. Wrobel, “Three-dimensional CFD simulation of geyser boiling in a two-phase closed thermosyphon,” Int. J. Hydrogen Energy, vol. 41, no. 37, pp. 16463–16476, Oct. 2016.

[5] N. Khordehgah, V. Guichet, S. P. Lester, and H. Jouhara, “Computational study and experimental validation of a solar photovoltaics and thermal technology,” Renew. Energy, vol. 143, pp. 1348–1356, Dec. 2019.

[6] A. Chauhan, J. Trembley, L. C. Wrobel, and H. Jouhara, “Experimental and CFD validation of the thermal performance of a cryogenic batch freezer with the effect of loading,” Energy, vol. 171, pp. 77–94, Mar. 2019.

[7] S. Almahmoud and H. Jouhara, “Experimental and theoretical investigation on a radiative flat heat pipe heat exchanger,” Energy, vol. 174, pp. 972–984, May 2019.

[8] B. Fadhl, L. C. Wrobel, and H. Jouhara, “Numerical modelling of the temperature distribution in a two-phase closed thermosyphon,” Appl. Therm. Eng., vol. 60, no. 1–2, pp. 122–131, Oct. 2013.

[9] H. Jouhara and R. Meskimmon, “Experimental investigation of wraparound loop heat pipe heat exchanger used in energy efficient air handling units,” Energy, vol. 35, no. 12, pp. 4592–4599, Dec. 2010.

[10] J. Ramos, A. Chong, and H. Jouhara, “Experimental and numerical investigation of a cross flow air-to-water heat pipe-based heat exchanger used in waste heat recovery,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transf., vol. 102, pp. 1267–1281, Nov. 2016.

[11] V. Guichet, S. Almahmoud, and H. Jouhara, “Nucleate pool boiling heat transfer in wickless heat pipes (two-phase closed thermosyphons): A critical review of correlations,” Therm. Sci. Eng. Prog., vol. 13, 2019.

[12] V. Guichet and H. Jouhara, “Condensation, evaporation and boiling of falling films in wickless heat pipes (two-phase closed thermosyphons): A critical review of correlations,” Int. J. Thermofluids, p. 100001, Oct. 2019.

[13] A. Chauhan, J. Herrmann, T. Nannou, J. Trembley, L. Wrobel, and H. Jouhara, “CFD model of a lab scale cryogenic batch freezer with the investigation of varying effects on the heat transfer coefficient,” Energy Procedia, vol. 123, pp. 256–264, Sep. 2017.

[14] B. Delpech et al., “Energy efficiency enhancement and waste heat recovery in industrial processes by means of the heat pipe technology: Case of the ceramic industry,” Energy, vol. 158, pp. 656–665, Sep. 2018.

[15] H. Jouhara et al., “Experimental investigation on a flat heat pipe heat exchanger for waste heat recovery in steel industry,” in Energy Procedia, 2017, vol. 123, pp. 329–334.

[16] O. Obeid, G. Alfano, H. Bahai, and H. Jouhara, “A parametric study of thermal and residual stress fields in lined pipe welding,” Therm. Sci. Eng. Prog., vol. 4, pp. 205–218, Dec. 2017.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)

Hussam Jouhara - Having worked in academia and the industry, Hussam has unique expertise in working on applied heat exchangers and energy-related research activities with direct support from research councils and various UK and international industrial partners. He has extensive expertise in designing and manufacturing various types of heat exchangers, including heat pipes and heat pipe-based heat exchangers for low, medium and high temperature applications. His work in the field of heat pipe based heat exchangers resulted in novel designs for recouperators, steam generators & condensers and flat heat pipes. These have been implemented across various industries including, but not limited to: food, electronics thermal management and low to high industrial waste heat recovery and Energy from Waste. Over the last few years, he has successfully managed to achieve new designs for industrial waste heat recovery and many thermal systems that have enhanced the performance of various industrials processes in the UK, Europe and world-wide. He is also an elected member of the Senate of Brunel University London.  Throughout his academic and industrial career, he received over £12.2M research funding from various UK/EU based research councils (RCUK & EU H2020) and from British and European industrial partners. He is a published author of academic books with many filed patents in areas related to heat pipes engineering and manufacturing and Energy from Waste systems. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of both Engineers Ireland (Ireland) and IMechE (UK). Hussam is the founder and the Head of the Heat Pipe and Thermal Management Research Group in Brunel University London.  Major projects as a Principal Investigator in Brunel: EDUCATION - Ph. D. (Mechanical Engineering), 2004, University of Manchester, UK PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS -
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (UK): Chartered Member and Fellow (CEng, FIMechE
  • CIBSE (UK): Fellow (CEng FCIBSE)
  • Engineers Ireland: Chartered Engineer and Fellow (CEng, IntPE, FIEI
  • Institute of Refrigeration (UK): Member (M.Inst.R
  1. P. G. Cert. in Higher Education, 2010, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, UK.
  2. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), 2017, UK