Energy transfer processes at gas/wall interfaces under extreme conditions

Next-generation, high efficiency (low CO2) vehicles will be powered in part by internal combustion engines that are downsized and operate under new combustion modes. These engine concepts are subject to problems such as increase transient heat transfer and flame quenching in small passages. Near-wall transient heat transfer is not well understood in engine environments; the gas is not constant in pressure, temperature, or velocity such that physical processes quickly digress from established boundary layer theory.

In this context, U. Edinburgh has been awarded funding from the European Research Council to provide fundamental, ground-breaking experimental measurements that resolve thermo-chemical and thermo-fluid processes at gas/wall interfaces. In particular, we are interested in resolving transient thermal boundary layer development under transient gas pressures and studying the consequences it has on thermal losses and flame quenching.

Measurements will be conducted in a variety of facilities including a (i) high pressure, high temperature steady-flow chamber, (ii) constant volume vessel with transient pressure rise and decay, and (iii) an optically accessible engine.

Measurements will be performed with a suite of advanced laser diagnostics that will include:

  • Short-pulse coherent anti-stokes Raman Spectroscopy in line format
  • Phosphor thermometry
  • Laser-induced fluorescence
  • Particle tracking velocimetry

The clean combustion laboratory at Edinburgh is hiring a PhD student for such studies. The candidate will be matched with diagnostics that are most relevant to his/her prior field of study. Good candidates should also be confident with aspects of design and can contribute towards advancing vessel designs for applications of near-wall studies. The PhD will work alongside a post-doctoral researcher and an Experimental Officer. The optimal start date is January – June 2018. Later start dates can be negotiated.

The necessary equipment for these measurements is in place in Edinburgh. While, experimental work will be conducted at U. Edinburgh, visits to partnering institutions (TU Darmstadt in Germany and Sandia National Laboratories in California) for complementary experimental campaigns are also possible.

The candidate should have a master’s degree in either Physics, Applied Physics, Chemical Physics, Physical Chemistry, or Engineering. Competencies in optics or photo-physics, even at the empirical level, will be positively considered.

Closing Date: 

Friday, January 18, 2019
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Principal Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree. Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees and stipend are available for Home/EU students (International students not eligible)

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: