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PhD Vacancies

Click on the PhD Studentship which you are interested in and find out more information about it below. Click here to apply for a PhD.

Model reduction and homogenisation for filtration and adsorption

Supervisers: Dr Matteo Icardi (School of Mathematical Sciences)

Starting date: Studentship will remain open until it is filled.

Funding: UK/EU students - Tuition Fees paid, and full Stipend at the RCUK rate, which is £14,777 per annum for 2018/19. There will also be some support available for you to claim for limited conference attendance.

Length of Studentship: 3 or 3.5 years, depending on the qualifications and training needs of the successful applicant.

Entry Requirements: an enthusiastic graduate with a 1st class degree in Mathematics (or other highly mathematical field such as Physics or Chemistry), preferably at MMath/MSc level, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 class degree, or equivalent, can be considered).

This project will be based at the University of Nottingham in the School of Mathematical Sciences in collaboration with the GeoEnergy Research Centre.

Porous media are ubiquitous in natural and engineered transport processes. When colloids or diffusive particles flows through their complex geometrical structure, non-trivial interactions arise between the advection, diffusion, particle-particle and particle-wall interactions. These processes can be modelled and simulated with computationally intensive three-dimensional simulations. In this project, a combination of rigorous multiscale analytical and numerical techniques will be used to derive and calibrate faster and simple models for filtration and adsorption processes. Extensions to include electrostatic forces and electrochemical reactions will be also considered.

The project is part of a wider research effort that sees the collaboration of several UK and international academic partners, and industrial partners in the Automotive and Oil & Gas sector.

For any enquiries please email Matteo Icardi

 

 

     

Multiscale Finite Elements for Reactive Transport in Natural Porous Media: The Impacts of Dissolution, Precipitation, and Clogging at the Pore Scale

Supervisors: Dr Bagus Muljadi (Faculty of Engineering)

Starting date: Studentship will remain open until it is filled.

Funding: UK/EU students - Tuition Fees paid, and full Stipend at the RCUK rate, which is £14,777 per annum for 2018/19.

Length of studentship: 3.5 years

Entry Requirements: 1st class degree in Mathematics (or other highly mathematical subject), preferably at Masters level, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 degree can be considered).

This project is primarily concerned with safe storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), efficient recovery from hydrocarbon reservoirs, and groundwater transport. In many of these applications, complex geological structures host reactive transport processes spanning a huge range of spatial and temporal scales. The accuracy of predictions can depend on factors such as the spatial resolution of the simulations and physical models at particular scales for example pore-scale to Darcy-scale. This challenge is exacerbated when the host rock geometries evolve due to dissolution or clogging effects that can occur due to fluid-solid reaction at the pore scale.

Utilizing multiscale finite elements in complex pore geometries has been an area of vivid current research. However, these methods suppose a fixed rock microstructure and do not include the effects of dissolution, precipitation, or clogging. The key challenge being that solving fully-resolved microstructural problems in each coarse block is expensive. One method of attack is to suppose pore scale geometries are parameterized and reduced basis or empirical interpolation methods can be utilized. This a project that is challenging both numerically, but also in terms of physical modelling.

This PhD studentship aims to develop efficient techniques to incorporate these higher order effects into multiscale finite elements at the pore-scale.  For this project, candidates with experience with numerical methods as well as ability to program in MATLAB or other programming languages would be at an advantage. This project will also include possible linkages and training with industrial partner's reservoir simulation software Petrel.

For any enquiries please email Bagus Muljadi

 

 

 

Fluid permeation through rock spaces

Supervisors: Professor Sean Rigby (Faculty of Engineering)

Starting date: Studentship will remain open until filled.

Funding: UK/EU students only. Fully paid tuition fees and full stipend at the RCUK rate (£14,777 per annum for 2018/19). Some support available for limited conference attendance.

Length of studentship: 3.5 years. The successful applicant will be part of the Energy Research Accelerator at the University of Nottingham (http://www.era.ac.uk/)

Entry requirements: 1st class degree in Engineering, Physical or Earth Sciences, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 class degree, or equivalent, can be considered).

This project will concentrate on the modelling of fluid permeation through geological structures, in particular looking at the impact of complex void space heterogeneity over different length-scales on fluid flow rates. The project will involve novel pore space characterisation techniques for rock core samples, and the integration of well-logging data, to produce models of rock permeability distribution. These models will then be used to simulate complex fluid flows in the model void space. It is anticipated that the project will utilise rock core samples and logging data from the University of Nottingham’s own wells. The applications include modelling gas leakage from sequestered CO2 reservoirs or fracking sites.

For any enquiries please email Sean Rigby

 

 

Microwave Assisted Catalytic Upgrading of Heavy Oil

Supervisors: Professor Sean Rigby (Faculty of Engineering)

Starting date: Studentship will remain open until filled.

Funding: UK/EU students only. Fully paid tuition fees and full stipend at the RCUK rate (£14,777 per annum for 2018/19). Some support available for limited conference attendance.

Length of studentship: 3.5 years. The successful applicant will be part of the Energy Research Accelerator at the University of Nottingham (http://www.era.ac.uk/)

Entry requirements: 1st class degree in Engineering, Physical or Earth Sciences, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 class degree, or equivalent, can be considered).

Heavy oil and bitumen deposits will provide energy security for the West, while conventional fuels are still needed. However, current extraction technology has a larger surface footprint and greater environmental impact than desired. These oils are also of lower grade than conventional resources. This project aims to improve the efficiency of heavy oil recovery by in-situ combustion, and develop the technology to build oil-upgrading plants underground where their environmental impact is minimised. This project will combine new catalytic technology with novel microwave processes to upgrade heavy oil as it enters the producer well still underground. The work will develop designer catalysts that are optimised for operation with microwave heating and under difficult reaction conditions underground. The project will also examine a range of options for boosting the natural oil upgrading that occurs with thermal extraction methods using a synergistic combination of industrial microwave technology and refined designs for the thermal processes. The project will potentially bring down the price of heavy oil extraction.

For any enquiries please email Sean Rigby

 

 

 

Multiscale Methods for Hysteresis Effects in Geomechanics

Supervisors: Dr Savvas Triantafyllou (Faculty of Engineering)

Starting Date: Studentship will remain open untill it is filled

Funding: UK/EU students only. Fully paid tuition fees and full stipend at the RCUK rate. Some support available for limited conference attendance

Length of Studentship: 3 or 3.5 years dependent on qualifications and training needs of student

Entry Requirements: 1st class degree in Mathematics (or other highly mathematical field such as Physics or Engineering), preferably at MMath/MSc level, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 class degree, or equivalent, can be considered).

This project will have considerable interaction with the GeoEnergy Research Centre (GERC) and the British Geological Survey (BGS). For those wishing to gain international experience a secondment in fluid-rock interactions in geomechanics to either Virginia Tech (Virginia, USA) or The China University of Mining and Technology (Xuzhou, China) may be possible.

For any enquiries please email Savvas Triantafyllou

Click here for more information and to apply for this PhD studentship

 

     

Mechanical modelling of the stability of Earth’s peatland carbon reservoirs

Supervisors: Jointly supervised between Engineering, Maths and Biosciences but primarily supervised by Dr David Large and Dr Bagus Muljadi in the Faculty of Engineering. Expertise in soils, peat and advanced mathematical techniques will be provided by secondary supervisors in Biosciences and Mathematics.

Starting Date: Studentship will remain open until filled.

Funding: UK/EU students only. Fully paid tuition fees and yax-free stipend at EPSRC rate of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the project 

Entry Requirements: The student must have a high-grade qualification; at least the equivalent of a UK 1st class degree in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline. The student must be proficient in both written and spoken English, and possess excellent presentation and communication skills.  Some experience computer programming is desirable.

This studentship is an excellent opportunity to become globally leading in the development of complex multiphase mechanical models of natural systems.

The project involves the development of mechanical models of peatland growth and restoration. Peat is a soft multiphase (solid, liquid, gas) material that stores 1/3 of Earths terrestrial carbon. Current models combine mass balance and hydrology but none consider the mechanical stability of the peat.  This is a huge oversight as the extremely weak multiphase peat body should deform with ease and this deformation must influence gas emissions and long term stability. The project will develop novel numerical models of peat growth and the mechanical response of peat to the changes in loading, mass balance and hydrology. The student will have the opportunity to visit peatlands in the UK and Malaysia and to link their work to geospatial observations. This is a truly interdisciplinary project combining supervision from Engineering, Maths and Biosciences.  As the focus is on the numerical modelling the student will be based in the Faculty of Engineering within the Geohazards and Earth Processes research group
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr David Large tel: 0115 9514114 or Email: david.large@nottingham.ac.uk.

Applications, with a detailed CV and letter of application, together with the names and addresses of two referees, should be sent directly to Dr. David Large (david.large@nottingham.ac.uk

 

 

 

Communication through complex media: a novel interdisciplinary paradigm to bridge information theory and multiscale flow and transport theory

Supervisors: Dr Matteo Icardi (School of Mathematical Sciences) and Dr Gabriele Gradoni (School of Mathematical Sciences)

Starting date: October 2018.Studentship will remain open until April 2019.

Funding: UK/EU students - Tuition Fees paid, and full Stipend at the RCUK rate, which is £14,777 per annum for 2018/19. There will also be some support available for you to claim for limited conference attendance.

Length of studentship: 4 years

Entry Requirements:1st class degree in Applied Mathematics (or other field such as Physics or Engineering, showing evidence of deep knowledge of continuum transport models and numerical methods), preferably at MMath/MSc level, or an equivalent overseas degree (in exceptional circumstances a 2:1 class degree, or equivalent, can be considered).

A variety of industrial applications are faced with challenges in understanding and control reactive transport processes in complex heterogeneous media. In particular, the Oil&Gas and renewable energy sector strongly relies on the modelling and simulation of multiscale porous materials, as well as complex downstream refining and chemical processing operations. Extracting valuable data and information from these systems for monitoring and control is crucial to ensure safety and increase efficiencies. Networks of nano-sensors for embedded sensing and actuation are currently being developed and tested to this aim. However, the design of robust and optimal communication strategies, in presence of complex transport phenomena and harsh environments remains challenging.

New communication paradigms, such as the nature-inspired molecular communication, have been developed to study the communication content of chemical simple advection-diffusion processes. However, we currently have no understanding of the potential for communication of more complex transport models. The goal of the project is, therefore, to develop the mathematical basis of an information theoretical framework for transport of particles and waves in complex multiscale environments.

This project is co-funded by TOTAL and will be based at the School of Mathematical Sciences, in the group of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and in collaboration with the GeoEnergy Research Centre and the Wave Modelling Research Group in Nottingham, and several partners in UK (Warwick) and Europe (Barcelona, Erlangen).

See here to apply for this studentship. For any enquiries please email Matteo Icardi

 

 

 

Uncertainty quantification in geoelectrical monitoring

Supervisors: Dr Marco Iglesias (School of Mathematical Sciences), Dr Oliver Kuras (British Geological Survey) and Dr Matteo Icardi (School of Mathematical Sciences).

Starting date: Studentship will remain open until filled.

Funding: UK/EU students - Tuition Fees paid, and full Stipend at the RCUK rate, which is £14,777 per annum for 2018/19. There will also be some support available for you to claim for limited conference attendance.

Length of studentship: 3 or 3.5 years dependent on qualifications and training needs of student

Over the past decade, geoelectrical imaging has become the leading geophysical technology for continuously monitoring the shallow subsurface volumetrically and in real time. This technology holds great potential for assisting industrial and governmental stakeholders in addressing some of the most pressing societal challenges that impact on the subsurface, such as the sourcing and storage of conventional, unconventional and renewable forms of energy, carbon sequestration, waste management and groundwater contamination. However, current geoelectrical imaging techniques do not allow appropriate quantification of the uncertainty intrinsic to the subsurface. The absence of uncertainty quantification in the subsurface profoundly restricts evidence-based decision-making, the assessment and management of risks associated with subsurface hazards, the design of cost-effective remediation strategies and the improvement of stakeholder and public acceptance in the context of potentially controversial uses of the subsurface (e.g. unconventional hydrocarbons, radwaste disposal).

This project will develop Bayesian methodologies for geoelectrical imaging with the ultimate aim of inferring and quantifying uncertainty in subsurface properties in the presence of realistic geologies. Real time-lapse geoelectrical data will be used for testing and validating the techniques developed during the project. The project will be focused on applications in energy geoscience, in alignment with strategic research interests of the GeoEnergy Research Centre (GERC).

For any enquiries please email Marco Iglesias

 

 

 

GeoEnergy Research Centre

Email: enquiries@gerc.ac.uk