Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in Adjoint sensitivity analysis and 3D shape optimization in complex internal compressible thermo-viscous flows

Department of Engineering, Cambridge

University of Cambridge, Trinity Ln, Cambridge, UK


  • Posted on: 17th Feb 2021
  • REF: NM25736
  • Closes: 31st March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

In this project, we will use adjoint methods pioneered by the group to optimize the geometry of an inkjet drop-on-demand print head, which is used to generate single pico-litre droplets by changing the shape of the boundary with a piezo-electric crystal.

The objectives are to: (1) implement a 3D shape generation algorithm in a finite element code; (2) develop the 3D direct and adjoint equations for compressible thermo-viscous flow within the complex geometry for various cost functions; (3) obtain shape sensitivities with the adjoint code and use gradient-based optimization to converge to optimal 3D shapes; (4) perform nonlinear adjoint looping over time in order to optimize the deformation over space and time; (5) continue the analysis for a non-Newtonian fluid.

We will also use the code to assimilate experimental data, using Bayesian inference combined with the group’s adjoint methods and experience in physics-based statistical inference.

The expected results are: 3D shape optimization implemented in a finite element solver. Application of the method to an industrial internal flow with steady and unsteady optimization.

There are two planned secondments: (1) XAAR – study of printhead design and manufacture in order to identify optimal intervention in the design process; (2) ONERA – implementation of surface sensitivity in a high order solver.

The Early Stage Researcher can be of any nationality. At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organisation (UK) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

Applicants must be in their first 4 years of their research career and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. The 4 years are counted from the date a degree was obtained which formally entitles to embark on a doctorate.

Applicants should have at least a good 2.1 degree in an Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or related area.

The salary will comprise a living allowance of ₠ 44895.96 and a mobility allowance of ₠7200.00. An additional allowance of ₠6000.00 may be payable but is dependent on individual family circumstances.

To apply for this studentship, please send your two page CV and transcripts if available to Prof. Matthew Juniper ( to arrive no later than 31 March 2021.

The successful candidate will be employed as an ESR from 1 June 2021 or as soon as possible after that date and will register for the PhD from 1 October 2021.

Please note that any offer of funding will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student. Candidates will need to apply separately for admission through the University’s Graduate Admissions application portal; this can be done before or after applying for this funding opportunity. Note that there is a £70 fee for PhD applications. The applicant portal can be accessed via: The final deadline for PhD applications is 30 June 2021, although it is advisable to apply earlier than this.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

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