Research Projects

All research projects at the School of Engineering. You can search keywords within Project title and filter by Research Institute.

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Project Title Principal Supervisor Research Institutes Project Summary
Boiling in microchannels: integrated design of closed-loop cooling system for devices operating at high heat

Professor Khellil Sefiane

Multiscale Thermofluids

The project aims to advance the use of microchannels based cooling technology by solving major outstanding issues. Flow instabilities and maldistribution are identified as a major hurdle towards effective implementation of this technology to a variety of applications.

Joint Experimental Investigation of two-phase flows in microscale

Professor Khellil Sefiane

Multiscale Thermofluids

The proposal aims to advance the use of microchannels based cooling technology by solving major outstanding issues.

ThermaPower - Thermal Management of High Power Microsystems Using Multiphase Flows

Professor Khellil Sefiane

Multiscale Thermofluids

Increased functionality and power consumption of microdevices and high power electronics has come at a cost: power dissipation and heating. This heat must be dissipated to ensure reliable operation of such devices in both earthly and reduced gravity environments (eg space industry), without adversely affecting their performance. With a highly competitive world market, worth tens of billions of Euros, it is imperative for EU to gain a competitive position in this field (currently led by USA and China).

TRANSPACC - TRANSient operation of flexible Packings for Carbon Capture

Dr Prashant Valluri

Materials and Processes, Multiscale Thermofluids

Power plants constitute one of the largest CO2 emitting sectors. With increased emphasis on abatement of emissions to meet the 2030 deadline set by the UK Committee on Climate Change, the power-plant sector is relying on CCS retrofits using post-combustion capture to clean up flue gases. However, despite the highly transient nature of power plant operation characterised by frequent shut-downs and start-ups (up to twice a day), the retrofits are currently designed for a constant base-load operation and hence cannot maintain even liquid distribution during unsteady loading.

RealTide

Prof David Ingram

Energy Systems

The aim of the RealTide project is to identify main failure causes of tidal turbines at sea and to provide a step change in the design of key components, namely the blades and power take-off systems, adapting them more accurately to the complex environmental tidal conditions. Advanced monitoring systems will be integrated with these identified sub-systems and together with maintenance strategies will be implemented at outset from the design stage to achieve an increased reliability and improved performance over the full tidal turbine life.

Compliant coatings for drag reduction

Dr. Ignazio Maria Viola

Energy Systems

The hydrodynamic performance of marine devices is crucial from the energy efficiency point of view. A well-designed drag reducing technique for ship hulls would decrease the unsustainable fossil fuel consumption and pollution, which accounts for 3% of the global carbon dioxide emission. The drag experienced by, for instance, a tidal turbine blade, also limits the extractable power from the tidal stream and, therefore, a drag reduction would increase the capacity factor of tidal turbines and decrease the cost of renewable energy. Our research aims to reduce the experienced drag with compliant coatings.

Multi-scale analyses of wildland fire combustion processes

Dr Rory Hadden

Infrastructure and Environment

Low intensity prescribed fires are often employed in forests and wildland in order to manage hazardous fuels, restore ecological function and historic fire regimes, and encourage the recovery of threatened and endangered species. Current predictive models used to simulate fire behavior during low-intensity prescribed fires (and wildfires) are empirically-based, simplistic, and fail to adequately predict fire outcomes because they do not account for variability in fuel characteristics and interactions with important meteorological variables. Experiments are being carried out at scales ranging from the fuel particle, to fuel bed, to field plot and stand scales, with an aim of better understanding how fuel consumption is related to the processes driving heat transfer, ignition and flame spread, and thermal degradation through flaming and smouldering combustion, at the scale of individual fuel particles and fuel layers. Focus is placed on how these processes, and thus fuel consumption, are affected by spatial variability in fuel particle type, fuel moisture status, bulk density, and horizontal and vertical arrangement of fuel components, as well as multi-scale atmospheric dynamics.

Fire Safety of Modern Timber Infrastructure

Dr Rory Hadden

Infrastructure and Environment

Exposed structural timber elements within a compartment creates an additional fuel load which must be considered in design. This research focuses on quantifying this additional fuel load, and understanding conditions where after burnout of the compartment contents, the additional exposed timber may stop burning (auto-extinguish). 

Fire-fighting underventilated fires

Dr Ricky Carvel

Infrastructure and Environment

Working with the fire brigades, and using a small-scale experimental apparatus to define appropriate fire-fighting responses to underventilated fires in sealed or partially sealed compartments. 

Small Scale Hydrogen Storage for Integrated Energy Systems

Dr Dimtri Mignard

Energy Systems

The integration of a greater proportion of renewable energy, compounded by the rise in small scale distributed generation, is making it increasingly difficult to balance demand and supply of electricity without adequate energy storage facilities. However, the effective deployment of these solutions at any particular location will require an understanding of the local energy system at the time. Conversion between energy vectors will also be required not just to meet storage needs, but also to allow major shifts from fossil fuels to low carbon energy in applications like heat and transport. Hydrogen is an energy vector that is particularly versatile from this viewpoint. 

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