PhD Position in Hydrodynamic Optimisation in Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Design

University of Southampton School of Engineering

United Kingdom

PhD studentship - Hydrodynamic optimisation in hydraulic and environmental engineering design

Civil, Maritime & Environmental Engineering
Location: Boldrewood Campus
Closing Date: Tuesday 31 August 2021
Reference: 1350321DA
Supervisory Team: Gustavo de Almeida and Sergio Maldonado

Project description

The design of many engineering structures involving flow-structure interactions often attempts to either reduce or augment certain characteristics of the flow. Examples of this include problems involving mixing in industrial or environmental applications (e.g. water and/or wastewater treatment plants, environmental flows in rivers and estuaries) and where the flow may pose risk to the stability of infrastructure (e.g. loadings and scour at the foundations of bridges and other infrastructure). In problems where the flow is central to the performance of the design, the focus may shift from ‘altering’ to ‘optimising’ the flow conditions, an endeavour that requires substantial experimental and/or computational efforts.

In this project you will investigate how to optimise specific characteristics of a turbulent flow within hydraulic and environmental engineering design. As part of the project you will have the chance to investigate applications to several problems spanning from traditional river engineering structures to novel applications in environmental engineering. You will have access to state-of-the-art experimental facilities including large recirculating flumes, wave basins and a large-scale model of an algae raceway pond (open channel systems used to cultivate microalgae). You will also receive training in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and gain access to the University of Southampton’s outstanding supercomputer Iridis 5.

This project is part of a collaboration between the University of Southampton and industry to improve the performance of algae raceway ponds. As a result, you will have access to data from one of the largest algae production facilities in the world.

The successful candidate will have a first class degree in Engineering, Physics or Applied Mathematics and interest in fluid dynamics and environmental engineering. Strong programming skills will also be an advantage.

Please notice that funding (fees and stipend) are fully covered for UK applicants only.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Gustavo de Almeida, Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2305.

Entry Requirements

a Bachelors/Masters degree in Engineering with interest (and some experience) in carrying out experimental work. A strong mathematical and computing (MATLAB, PYTHON etc.) foundation is crucial for development of data analysis codes and subsequent model synthesis.

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2021 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Gustavo de Almeida

Applications should include:

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:


In your application, please refer to