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Research Fellow in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Fluid-Structure Interaction

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Location:  Guildford
Salary:  £32,344 to £36,383 per annum
Fixed Term
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours GMT on Monday 03 January 2022
Reference:  078421

Post-doctoral Fellowship in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Fluid Structure Interaction

Applications are invited for the position of a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences at the University of Surrey. The candidate will develop modelling tools and conduct numerical investigations into the effect of highly swirling inlet flow and fluid structure interaction in adaptable shaft seals for rotating machinery including gas and steam turbines. Given the broad requirement for effective seals in industry, this technology has an important role to play in the journey to net-zero.

Project Description

The successful candidate will work closely with Dr Michael Pekris, Professor John Chew, and a PhD student at the University of Surrey, and with collaborating partners at the University of Bath, Cross Manufacturing Ltd, and Rolls-Royce plc. This project is funded by the EPSRC and is entitled ‘Brush seal Resistance to Inlet Swirl and Transient Loading Effects (BRISTLE)’. This will deliver insight into important physical mechanisms that can lead to improvements in the state of the art. Ultimately this will contribute a positive step towards achieving clean aviation and to meeting ambitious environmental targets by 2050.

The aim of the project is to investigate the flow and dynamic effects in advanced compliant seals  and to propose improvements in the design which result in more robust sealing technologies and lower fuel burn. The project builds on previous work at Surrey, and further develops computational models of the fluid flow and structural deflections which includes the Surrey University Brush Seal Iterative Simulator (SUBSIS) mechanical model. These will be validated with available data from the project partners. The project will initially focus on inlet swirl and fluid-structure interaction, and means by which the inlet flow can be conditioned to mitigate the risk of flow-induced instability. The project will later consider the dynamic behaviour of adaptable seals under conditions of aerodynamic and transient shaft loading for two promising variants of seal.

Candidates with research expertise in computational modelling and simulation problems including fluid-structure interaction are encouraged to apply. Programming experience would be a distinct advantage for this post. Applicants should have, or be close to completion of, a relevant PhD in Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics or other related disciplines, and should have publications in a relevant field.

The candidate will acquire a range of transferable skills and experience, and will have the opportunity to disseminate their research findings to the collaborative team, at leading conferences, and in high quality scientific and engineering journals.

For informal enquiries prior to or following an application submission, please contact Dr Michael Pekris (

This position is full-time (36 hours a week), fixed-term for up to 33 months, starting as soon as possible and no later than March 2022.

Further details:    Job Description    
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Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£32,344) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate.  Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£33,309).



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