Closing date: 12 August 2022

Key Information

Funding providers: Swansea University and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Subject areas: Engineering

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project supervisors: Dr Zhaoxin Ren and Professor Wulf G Dettmer

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Aerospace Engineering

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

This is an exciting opportunity to join Zienkiewicz Centre for Computational Engineering (ZCCE) at Swansea University, which is recognised internationally for its pioneering work on computational modelling and engineering application. The Faculty of Science & Engineering’s research environment was assessed as over 93% world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021. The project aims to provide PhD students with first-rate, challenging research training, with mutually beneficial research collaboration.

Hydrogen as a fuel for propulsion has been identified by the aerospace industry as the pathway to its zero-emission ambition. The utilization of cryogenic hydrogen is considered the most effective option. However, there are several key technical challenges to the stable combustion of cryogenic hydrogens, such as flashback and flame instability. The underlying physics is complex involving cryogenic jets, intense heat and mass transfer, phase change, multiphase flow, ignition, and flame, and there is an urgent need to develop robust and reliable predictive tools to support the experimental studies, which are challenging and costly.

The project aims to develop cutting-edge modelling techniques based on the current in-house high-fidelity simulation code for the multiphase reactive flow of cryogenic hydrogen and to collect the data from numerical simulations that can be used to analyse physicochemical processes to gain further insight into this relatively new scientific topic. The strategies for hydrogen injection, effective mixing, and stable operation under suitable operating conditions will be developed. The research aims to lay a theoretical basis for the operational principles of the hydrogen combustion system.

The post-holder will gain experience in:

  • computational fluid mechanics using state-of-the-art numerical model and simulation techniques;
  • theory of cryogenic flow, multiphase flow and turbulent combustion, and analytical techniques;
  • the development and use of high-fidelity numerical modelling;
  • pathway to net-zero aviation.
  • working in a multi-disciplinary team.

In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to high-rank journals and to present their findings at major international conferences.


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline. See – Country-specific Information for European Applicants 2019 and Country-specific Information for International Applicants 2019.

Background in computational fluid mechanics, combustion, and aerospace propulsion is desirable. Applications are invited from candidates in Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering or related areas.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent. Details on the Swansea University English Language entry policy can be found here.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

NB: If you are holding a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility. 

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email pgrscholarships@swansea.ac.uk with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062.

Additional research expenses will also be available. 

How to Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Aerospace Engineering / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / October

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email pgrscholarships@swansea.ac.uk where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2022
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter ‘RS107 – PhD CRYO

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via email):

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Monitoring Form (online form)
  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Dr Zhaoxin Ren (zhaoxin.ren@swansea.ac.uk).

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.