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PhD project: Shaping turbulence with smart particles

Job description

Can we design turbulence? Turbulence is everywhere and yet our fundamental understanding and capabilities to control it remain limited. It is a remarkable property of turbulence that, rather irrespective of the large-scale forcing mechanism, it rapidly tends to restore a universal homogeneous and isotropic state at smaller scales. This tendency to universality severely hinders our capability to modulate turbulence by acting on few (large-scale) degrees of freedom. This program will enter an unexplored terrain and design non-universal turbulence employing “smart” particles capable of applying appropriate small-scale forcing. It will moreover shed light on the physics of complex-shaped particles dispersed in turbulent flows as occurring in nature, take e.g. pollen, plant seeds, fish, bacteria, algae, phytoplankton or sediments. Deeper understanding of these systems will open up the way to technological applications.
In this project a systematic investigation of the dynamics of chiral particles in turbulence is planned by means of tracking of chiral particles, produced by 3D printing technology, and by means of flow velocimetry (PTV, LDV) in well controlled turbulent flows in the Twente water channel, the Twente mass and heat transfer water tunnel, the Twente turbulent Taylor-Couette facility, Boiling Twente Taylor-Couette facility, and the new homogeneous isotropic turbulence facility. 3D printed particles with chiral will be produced and accurately tracked (position and orientation) under well controlled turbulent flow conditions in our world-class turbulence facilities. The influence of fluid inertia on the angular dynamics of almost neutrally buoyant or light particles is an open theoretical question. In this project the center of mass and rotational dynamics of neutrally buoyant and inertial chiral particles will be investigated as a function of the most relevant particle/flow parameters. These include turbulence intensity, particle shape, particle size, and particle density. Typical questions that we want to answer include: how do particles of different sizes influence turbulence? Can the coupling between particle and fluid alter the helicity balance of the turbulent flow? By means of increasing the particle volume fraction we plan to investigate the coupling between particles and flow up to volume fractions of the order of 10%.
To summarize: world class flow facilities, world class high speed imaging, advanced algorithms and analysis to modify turbulence!
More details can be found here: https://pof.tnw.utwente.nl/vacancies/30

Your profile

You have a background in applied physics, aerospace engineering, or mechanical engineering, or in a closely related discipline. You have strong communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English. You are enthusiastic and highly motivated to do a PhD. Experimental experience and experience in image and data analysis required. Knowledge of (convolutional) neural networks is a plus.

Our offer

• We want you to play a key role in an ambitious project in an inspiring and stimulating international work environment.
• We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities.
• You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the university offers.
• You will be embedded in a dynamic research group with colleagues working on similar topics.
• Additionally, the University of Twente is a green campus with excellent facilities and resources for professional and personal development, and offers a wide variety of sports facilities.
• You will follow a high-quality personalized educational program.
• The research will result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.
• We strive for diversity and fairness in hiring.

Information and application

Applicants should be in the possession of a master degree in physics, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, or closely related field. Applications should provide:
• A motivation letter describing why you want to apply for this precise position.
• Description of your research interests.
• A detailed CV.
• Academic transcripts from your Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
• Name and email addresses of at least two visible references who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
• An interview with a scientific presentation on your previous work will be part of the interview process.
Potential applicants are encouraged to apply to both Prof. D. Lohse and Assist.Prof. S. Huisman.

The closing date of the vacancy is 31 December 2020.

About the organization

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD project: Shaping turbulence with smart particles
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