Skip to main content

Optimisation of geothermal energy extraction

Geothermal energy offers a huge amount of near zero emission energy, with a small ground footprint at extraction. This can be used for power production, heating, drying and energy storage. Existing oil wells can be re-purposed and new geothermal wells designed for optimum extraction for a particular application.

As part of the project you will use numerical modelling to quantify and optimise single and multiple wells usage cycles and accelerate transition from fossil fuels. Collaboration with industry is expected along with some knowledge of numerical methods such as CFD.


Kubačka, J., Tyacke, J. C., Pittman, I., Hindický, M., Karayiannis, T., 2022, Energy availability from deep geothermal wells using coaxial heat exchangers, SET 2022 – 19th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies.

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: 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)

James Tyacke - As a Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering, I am primarily interested in Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of complex flows including Urban Air Mobility Vehicles (Air Taxis), Jet Aeroacoustics, Turbomachinery, Electronics Cooling and Geothermal Energy. Multi-fidelity modelling underpins these areas, both in terms of turbulence modelling and geometry representation. Modern High Performance Computing (HPC) architectures are also being leveraged for both simulation and analysis of large data sets (Big Data), revealing unsteady flow physics.  Further interests include increasing CFD automation, including mesh generation and optimisation, solution analysis and feedback into knowledge-based systems using Machine Learning and AI. I am currently looking for students to complete a PhD under EPSRC DTP funding at Brunel University London or those who are self-funded.  A range of projects are possible, focusing on multi-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).  Example projects: DTP funding details: Research degree funding: External funding: