EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics at Leeds

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Computing

Abstract

Understanding and characterising the behaviour of fluids is fundamental to numerous industrial and environmental challenges with wide-ranging societal impact. The CDT in Fluid Dynamics at Leeds will provide the next generation of highly trained graduates with the technical and professional skills and knowledge needed to tackle such problems.

Fluid processes are critical to both economic productivity and the health and environmental systems that affect our daily lives. For example, at the microscale, the flow of liquid through the nozzle of an ink-jet printer controls the quality of the printed product, whilst the flow of a coolant around a microprocessor determines whether or not the components will overheat. At the large scale, the atmospheric conditions of the Earth depend upon the flow of gases in the atmosphere and their interaction with the land and oceans. Understanding these processes allows short term weather forecasting and long term climate prediction; both are crucial for industry, government and society to plan and adapt their environments. Fluid flows, and their interactions with structures, are also important to the performance of an array of processes and products that we take for granted in our everyday lives: gas and water flow to our homes, generation of electricity, fuel efficiency of vehicles, the comfort of our workplaces, the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and the manufacture of most of the goods that we buy. Understanding, predicting and controlling Fluid Dynamics is key to reducing costs, increasing performance and enhancing the reliability of all of these processes and products.

Our CDT draws on the substantial breadth and depth of our Fluid Dynamics research expertise at the University of Leeds. We will deliver an integrated MSc/PhD programme in collaboration with external partners spanning multiple sectors, including energy, transport, environment, manufacturing, consultancy, defence, computing and healthcare, who highlight their need for skilled Fluid Dynamicists. Through a combination of taught courses, team projects, professional skills training, external engagement and an in-depth PhD research project we will develop broad and deep technical expertise plus the team-working and problem-solving skills to tackle challenges in a trans-disciplinary manner.
We will recruit and mentor a diverse cohort from a range of science and engineering backgrounds and provide a vibrant and cohesive training environment to facilitate peer-to-peer support. We will build strengths in mathematical modelling, computational simulation and experimental measurement, and through multi-disciplinary projects co-supervised by academics from different Schools, we will enable students to undertake a PhD project that both strengthens and moves them beyond their UG discipline.

Our students will be outward facing with opportunities to undertake placements with industry partners or research organisations overseas, to participate in summer schools and study challenges and to lead outreach activities, becoming ambassadors for Fluid Dynamics. Industry and external engagement will be at the heart of the CDT: all MSc team projects will be challenges set and mentored by industry (with placements embedded); each student will have the opportunity for user engagement in their PhD project (from sponsorship, external supervision and access to facilities, to mentoring); and our partners will be actively involved in overseeing our strategic direction, management and professional training. Many components will be provided by or with our partners, including research software engineering, responsible innovation, commercial awareness and leadership.

Planned Impact

The CDT will address the continued need of the UK for highly trained graduates in Fluid Dynamics and deliver impact through the novel research conducted by CDT students. The impact and benefits will reach multiple stakeholders.

Impacts on Skills and People:

Key beneficiaries of the CDT will be the alumni of our current and future programme and the organisations who employ them. Through the technical and professional development training, and the CDT environment, our graduates will have expertise in fundamental theory, analytical and numerical approaches, experimental techniques and application, and in-depth technical knowledge in their PhD area. Moreover they will have leadership, communication, responsible innovation and team working skills, combined with experience of working with academic and industry partners in a diverse and cross-disciplinary environment. This breadth and depth sets our CDT graduates apart from their peers, and positions them to become future leaders in industry, society and academia across a range of sectors. They will obtain the underpinning skills, and long term support through our Alumni Association, to drive future innovation across multiple sectors and act as life-long ambassadors for Fluid Dynamics.

The impact on people and skills will also include staff in our partner organisations in industry and non-profit sectors. Through participation in CDT activities, benefits will include new professional contacts and collaborations and knowledge of cutting edge methods and techniques. Through the CDT and the wider activities of Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics (LIFD) we will enhance the skills base in Fluid Dynamics and be the "go to" place to support high level training in end-user organisations.

Impact on Industry and the Economy:

In addition to the availability of trained graduates with excellent technical, professional and personal skills, impacts will arise from the direct innovation in research projects within the CDT. Research outcomes will influence processes, technologies, tools, guidelines and methodologies for our industry partners and other related organisations, leading to economic benefits such as new products, services and spin out companies. For example our current CDT has already led to 2 new patents (BAE Systems), student delivery of consultancy (Akzo Nobel), a flood demonstrator unit (JBA Trust) and a new method for hydraulic analysis (Hydrotec). Partners will also gain an enhanced reputation through being involved in successful and novel project outcomes. Skilled graduates and technology enhancement are key to economic growth, and our CDT will contribute to challenge areas such as energy, transport, the environment, the health sector, as well as those with chronic skills shortage such as the nuclear industry. Many of our partners are non-profit organisations, particularly in the environment and health sectors (e.g. NHS, PHE, Met Office). Impacts here derive through skilled graduates with the training and awareness to apply their expertise in organisations that deal with complex problems of societal importance, and novel research at the interface of disciplines. The cross-disciplinary nature of the CDT particularly supports this.

Impact on Society:

Beyond those who partner directly, many of the research projects have potential to lead to innovations with direct societal benefits (e.g. new techniques for detecting or controlling disease, new innovations in controlling flood risk or pollution, new insights into forecasting extreme weather). Beneficiaries here include professional bodies and government agencies who set policy, define guidance or influence the direction of innovation and research in the UK. The benefits to society will also stem from enhanced public awareness of Fluid Dynamics, both benefiting general public knowledge of science and inspiring the next generation (from all sectors of society) to undertake STEM careers.

Organisations

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2274020 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Hamza Liaquet
2274923 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Fenntun Peter Sternberg
2274483 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Alasdair Roy
2274749 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Fergus Shone
2271818 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Jonathan Bolton
2272106 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Giulia Fedrizzi
2271806 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Jacob Anderson
2274379 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Jacob Perez
2271854 Studentship EP/S022732/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Danielle Bullamore