Skip to content
  • Nsirc
  • News
  • 2020
  • PhD research topics that need Numerical Modelling experience

PhD research topics that need Numerical Modelling experience

Mon, 30 March, 2020

New PhD Scholarships that would be ideal for MSc graduates with Numerical Modelling experience

Let's be clear about the kind of numerical modelling (or 'modeling' for our american friends) that we are talking about in these research topics. We are discussing experience of running computer simulations that have been built to anticipate the performance, or outcome, of a real life structure.

Commonly used across a broad range of engineering programmes, numerical models can be utilised to test asset reliability within the power generation sector, oil and gas industry, manufacturing and more.

As the UK's leading centre for structural integrity research, NSIRC PhD students throughout the research programme, use and design, numerical methods and mathematical models to advance their long-term research.

Uniquely to NSIRC, they do so under the guidance from their university academic supervisor, and their experienced industrial supervisor provided by TWI Cambridge.

TWI is an independent research and technology organisation based on Granta Park in Cambridge. NSIRC is a pillar of the TWI Innovation Network, a section within TWI that works to advance engineering through collaboration and integration.

Previous NSIRC PhD research has produced numerical models for oil and gas platform mooring chains. Photo: TWI Ltd / NSIRC
Previous NSIRC PhD research has produced numerical models for oil and gas platform mooring chains. Photo: TWI Ltd / NSIRC

Latest PhD Scholarships with Numerical Modeling expertise

Characterising thermal fatigue at mix points in industrial piping

Sponsored by the the Lloyd's Register Foundation

What research is the oil and gas industry calling for...?

An optimised maintenance of the pipeline would maximise life time and performance.

Current guidelines in the petrochemical industry are broad and overly simplistic. When inspection regimes are not based on an understanding of the fundamental causes, components may be inspected too frequently (increasing costs), or critical regions may be not be inspected because they have not been identified (increasing risk of failure).

PhD project summary

This research will develop a broad understanding of the thermal flow mixing mechanism by making use of Computational Fluid Dynamics to:

  • Identify critical regions in the pipework
  • Assess severity of the thermal loads

The corresponding thermal fatigue load cycles in the pipework will therefore be used in fatigue assessments to predict the remaining life. Additionally, this research will define a validated rule matrix - to prioritise inspection modality, criticality and frequency as required.

Scaling Modelling for annulus environments in flexible pipes

Sponsored by TWI | Awarded by the University of Leicester 

Flexible pipeline manufacturers are facing a problem...

Designs for flexible composite pipes assume that when working under normal conditions, the space between the polymeric sheaths will remain dry and not corrode.

As the application of flexible pipelines continues to be pushed into ever more harsh environments, water and carbon dioxide has been seen to permeate the annulus, making the space corrosive.

PhD project summary

Model the precipitation/formation rate of the different phases of the corrosion scales and effect on dissolution rate of iron in carbon dioxide - containing annulus environments - and validate the model output by comparing with existing experimental data

The project will investigate:

  • Effect of temperature and partial pressure of carbon dioxide
  • Effect of pH/solution chemistry on the scales formation rate vs. iron dissolution rate
  • Effect of degree of confinement on the scales formation rate vs. iron dissolution rate
  • Effect of gas flow rate


PhD candidates are expected to have...

Candidates should have a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Materials Science*.

Suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply.

Overseas applicants should also submit IELTS results (minimum 6.5) if applicable.


View more PhD Scholarships with NSIRC via the PhD Opportunities page.


*Recruitment criteria my vary. For further information, visit the specific PhD Topic pages of your interest.