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PhD positions in Multiscale computation and modelling of granular materials

Multiscale computation and modelling of granular materials

Granular materials are ubiquitous in nature and extensively utilized in many processes in civil, chemical, mechanical and mining industries.  Understanding and predicting granular material behaviour is vital for migrating natural hazards and for optimising industrial processes.  However, complexity arising from grain interactions poses considerable challenge to this task.  To date, there is no universal theory or model can describe granular material behaviour for a wide range of conditions.


In this project, we follow a multiscale modelling paradigm to obtain a theoretical understanding of the underlying governing mechanisms of the physics and mechanics of granular materials; and to develop continuum theories and efficient computational schemes for accurate prediction of the behaviour.  At the microscopic, discrete particle level, the discrete element method (DEM), is employed to study particle dynamics and microstructure. At the macroscopic, continuum level, plasticity and microcontinuum theories will be examined for their interface to the microscopic information.  Experiments will be performed as an integral part of the research, employing novel as well as conventional techniques to probe microstructure and rheology.  Through interactions between the two scales, mathematically rigorous and computational effective models and algorithms will be constructed.


PhD positions are available to conduct doctorate research on these challenging topics with a focus on applications of industrial importance, such as storage and discharge of granular materials in silos and multiphase flows in fluidised beds.  Scholarships and research funding are available with additional opportunities to undertake paid tutoring duties.  There will also be opportunities to develop transferable skills and present at conferences and in publications.


Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates are sought with a background in civil, mechanical, chemical engineering, or physics and mechanics.  Applicants should hold or expect to gain at least a 2.1 Honours degree.  A good grasp of continuum mechanics and experience in programming and computational modelling would be advantageous.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Jin Sun. (telephone: +44 0131 6519028, e‑mail: Applications including CV, academic transcripts, a research statement and a publication list, should be submitted to Dr Sun via email.

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