PhD in turbulent flow induced vibration at University of Sheffield

Closing Date
31 March 2021

About the Project

This is the opportunity for a PhD research student to join a cross-disciplinary project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which is based in Sheffield and will be carried out in collaboration with University College London (Prof. Thorsten Stosser, and our industry partner nuron Ltd ( The project aims to develop, for the first time, a technique to link turbulence-induced near wall pressure fluctuations in a partially-filled pipe flow with the optical phase fluctuations in the optical signal transmitted through a fibre-optic cable containment system (FOCCS) attached to the wall of a water pipe. This concept aims to provide detailed in-pipe hydrodynamics measurements and also monitor in-pipe conditions such as structural defects and blockages. This technique has the potential to develop a completely new sensing platform for buried pipes capable of operating pervasively and in real-time in very large pipe networks.

Your part will be to develop models and/or conduct measurements to validate the predicted response of FOCCS to flow induced vibration. Further development will include data driven approaches based on Machine Learning algorithms to account for the changes in flow conditions. Your contribution to a key outcome of this project will be used by the industry as the next generation of pervasive monitoring solutions for buried pipes.

The appointed PhD student will have the opportunity to advance science in one or more of the following related topics: (i) gravity-driven free surface turbulent flow in pipes; (ii) propagation of elastic waves in the FOCCS; (iii) linking acoustics of containment system with optical phase fluctuations in the fibre-optic cable. Although the successful candidate will be based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, there will be plenty of opportunity for him/her to travel and work with our non-academic partners in the UK. This PhD studentship also benefits from extensive inter-faculty collaboration available through the Pennine Water Group at Sheffield (, EPSRC’s Twenty65 project ( and the Pipebots EPSRC Programme Grant ( The appointed candidate will be able to use for his/her work two bespoke experimental facilities at Sheffield: UKCRIC’s National Distributed Water Infrastructure Facility ( and the Laboratory for Validation and Verification (

The successful candidate should have graduated (or expect to graduate before the start of this PhD project) with a good honours degree in Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or a related subject. They should be able to demonstrate an aptitude for research and a willingness to work flexibly, in a number of locations and environments. They will be expected to have good communication skills to publish their work and to present it to our partners and external peers. Possession of a driving licence is desirable.

How to apply

Applications should be made through the University of Sheffield on-line submission system (

Informal enquiries can be made through email to Dr Anton Krynkin ().

Funding Notes

This opportunity is open to the UK, EU and overseas candidates. The University of Sheffield will offer £15,285 per annum stipend. However, an overseas candidate will be expected to cover the difference between the home and overseas fees.