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CFD modelling of plasma flow control

Active flow control can be utilised to modify fluid flow in advantageous ways without performance penalties of passive flow control.  For example, to delay boundary layer separation, or alter noise generated by aerofoils.  Plasma actuators offer great flexibility but can be hard to rapidly test using experiments.  CFD modelling can be used to test a wide range of plasma actuator configurations quickly, leading to novel applications and designs.

The project involves using Large-Eddy Simulation (LES ) to study the effect of plasma actuation on aerofoil boundary layer development and designing actuation for particular applications.  The candidate will work closely with UK researchers and industries such as air taxi and jet engine manufacturers. 



Tyacke, J. C., Vadlamani, N. R., Trojak, W., Watson, R. A., Ma, Y., Tucker, P. G., 2019, Turbomachinery Simulation Challenges and the Future, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 110, doi:10.1016/j.paerosci.2019.100554

Tyacke, J. C., Wang, Z.-N., Tucker, P. G., 2019, LES-RANS of installed ultra-high bypass-ratio coaxial jet aeroacoustics with flight stream, AIAA Journal, 57(3), pp. 1215-1236, doi:10.2514/1.J057057

Tyacke J. C., Mahak M., P. G. Tucker, 2016, Large-Scale Multifidelity, Multiphysics, Hybrid Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes/Large-Eddy Simulation of an Installed Aeroengine, AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 997-1008, doi:10.2514/1.B35947

Tyacke, J., Tucker, P. G., 2015, Future use of Large Eddy Simulation in aero-engines, ASME Journal of Turbomachinery, 137(8), pp. 081005-1-16, doi:10.1115/1.4029363

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 would 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 Senior 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 Director (numerical methods) of the Brunel Aerospace Research Centre (ARC).  With a vibrant multi-disciplinary research culture, the ARC solves todays pressing aerospace challenges.  We pride ourselves in supporting diverse researchers at all career stages and working with the largest and smallest industries.  Please get in touch to see how the ARC can meet your needs. 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:

Related Research Group(s)


Aerospace -