Computational Design Optimisation of a Centrifugal Pump

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering


The aim of this project is to introduce automation in the design process of a centrifugal pump, and therefore this project falls under the engineering design research area. This is achieved by introducing automatic integrated design optimization into the design process. In order to achieve this aim, there are a number of questions that must be answered.
To begin with, flow through the pump must be accurately simulated using CFD simulations. Suitable solvers must be determined that give accurate flow fields, but do not have prohibitively large computational costs. On the other hand, design optimization is most easily implemented over a reduced number of parameters, as optimization over a large set of parameters is usually not feasible. Therefore, a design vector consisting of a sufficiently small set of parameters will need to be determined.
If evaluating potential pump design using CFD simulations is significantly time-consuming, then a surrogate model will need to be determined. By evaluating a number of designs over the design space, the response of the objectives can be determined for this small number of designs. A surrogate model may then be created over this design space to 'fill in the blanks'.
Once the response of the objective functions over the design space has been created, optimization over this space can then proceed. There are a number of optimization methods that may be used; these include local and global optimizers. Both of these methods of optimization have their advantages and disadvantages, and efficacy of both methods will need to be tested for this application.
These processes must be automatically performed, which adds another level of complexity to the problem. This integrated design process must be robust and able to handle a number of potential issues that may arise during implementation. Furthermore, this may be a time-consuming process and therefore considerations must be made for the computational cost of any of the above processes.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509620/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1946827 Studentship EP/N509620/1 01/10/2017 31/03/2021 James Gross