VOILAb PhD opportunities



Ship hull hydrodynamics

Before applying online, candidates must submit CV and cover letter to Dr Ignazio Maria Viola at i.m.viola@ed.ac.uk.

This project is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and AkzoNobel’s Marine, Protective & Yacht Coatings, the world leader in marine coatings, and will include a three-month secondment at AkzoNobel. 

The challenge of predicting the resistance of ship hulls in real sailing conditions is due to the wide range of length-scales involved, from the micron-scale of the coating roughness to the metre-scale of the ship's boundary layer thickness (Raupach et al. Appl. Mech. Rev. 44 1991, Gad-el-Hak Appl. Mech. Rev. 49 1996). The width of this range of scales, and the fluid mechanics interaction between the scales, make the physics impossible to be replicated exactly in a laboratory setting (Gad-el-Hak Prog. Aerosp. Sci. 38 2002, Jimenez Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 36 2004). 

Recent work funded by AkzoNobel's Marine, Protective & Yacht Coatings and undertaken at the University of Edinburgh showed the strong interaction between roughness features of different sizes. However, current practice is to consider a single equivalent roughness height to model the effect of roughness on ship hulls (Yeginbayeva et al. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part M J. Eng. Marit. Environ. 233 2019). How to model the non-uniform distributions of roughness and combination of micro and macro roughnesses in numerical simulations of ship hulls is currently unknown (Chung et al, Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 53 2021; Andersson et al, Appl. Ocean Res. 99 2020). This project aims to address this key industry challenge with fundamental fluid mechanics research. 

The aim of this project is to develop a methodology to accurately predict the friction resistance of ship hulls at full scale accounting for heterogenous fouling roughness, including hard fouling such as barnacles, and patchy slime with different thickness. New theoretical models of the interaction between different roughness features will be developed. These will be implemented into a Navier-Stokes code (using the OpenFOAM tool) to compute the friction resistance of a full-scale hull for different surface conditions.

Funding: funds, including stipend and university fees, are available for both international and home applicants.
Closing Date: there is no closing date. Applications are processed as received. The position is open until filled. 
To apply: Before applying online, candidates must submit CV and cover letter to Dr Ignazio Maria Viola at i.m.viola@ed.ac.uk, see below for more details. Do NOT apply online inless invited. 

Who should apply for a PhD in VOILAb

We welcome applications from outstanding and ambitious students, with the potential of becoming extraordinary scholars. We select 2% - 5% of the applications that we receive. The principal selection criteria is excellence. Specific expertise relevant to the project and motivation are also considered.
Applicants must have studied fluid mechanics in their undergraduate courses, and must demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of turbulent flow. Expertise in computational fluid dynamics and experience in OpenFOAM is desirable but not essential.  

Previous successful applicants have a very diverse background, including engineering, mathematics, physics, biology, etc. Our research group is very diverse for gender, race, nationality, career ambition, etc. We strongly value the diversity in our group, and thus applicants from groups tipically under-represented in academia are strongly encouraged to apply. Find here the minimum entry requirements by country.

Being fluent in both spoken and written English is essential. We accept the following English language qualifications at the minimum grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section
  • PTE Academic: total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Self-funded applicants

Self-funded applicants who have received funds through scholarships or other sponsors can apply for any advertised project (https://edin.ac/3L7HTnq), or can propose their own project. Self-proposed projects must align closely with the research focus of VOILAb. Applicants should apply trough this link: https://edin.ac/2v7HvCK. They should either attach their own research proposal to the application, or indicate one project between those offered by VOILAb and listed at this link: https://edin.ac/3L7HTnq

To Apply

Before applying, applicants must submit CV and cover letter by email to Dr Ignazio Maria Viola at i.m.viola@ed.ac.uk. We will try to reply to all enquiries within one week. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview. Only candidates that have been succesfully passed the interview stage will be invited to apply online at https://edin.ac/2v7HvCK.