Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Computational Hypersonic Aerodynamics

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Computational Hypersonic Aerodynamics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of
Strathclyde, United Kingdom
The University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland, UK) announces a new opportunity for an enthusiastic and well-qualified postdoctoral researcher to join a team developing computational models of real hypersonic aerodynamic flows.
As part of the international aerospace effort, there is a need for good numerical models of the air flows around space shuttles and other high-speed high-altitude vehicles. This project focuses on hypersonic aerodynamic flows that have, at the same time, regions of high and very low density. Currently, these cannot be handled easily within a single computational scheme: Navier-Stokes solvers are suitable for high-density flows but molecular dynamics methods are needed for the low-density regions. The coupling of the two solution techniques to resolve mixed-density flowfields is complex and often computationally intractable.
However, higher-order continuum-type equations (like the Burnett equations) offer a realistic alternative. They extend the applicability of the continuum equation set into the rarefied regime, and have the additional advantage that calculations of rarefied flowfields take a fraction of the computational time of molecular dynamics. Because the Burnett equations reduce to the Navier-Stokes equations in regions of low gradients or high density, they can also model transonic and mixed-density flow fields efficiently. Currently, only simple flows have been investigated, so we are now looking for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to apply and validate these state-of-the-art models for a range of 3D configurations. This research forms part of the worldwide effort in developing new aerospace technology and designing next-generation spacecraft and high-altitude aircraft.
The project will be based in the Mechanical Engineering Department of Strathclyde University (, which was rated a top 5 in the last Research Assessment Exercise in the UK. The research will be supervised by Professor Jason Reese (he can be contacted for further details on and Dr Matthew Stickland, and will be collaborative with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (part of the UK's Ministry of Defence) who will provide experimental and other computational results for validation.
This is a challenging but rewarding project, so you are required to have (or be close to completion of) a PhD in Applied Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering or Aeronautical Engineering, and have a special interest in computational simulations of rarefied and continuum gas flows. You will also need to be experienced in setting up your own mathematical models for numerical solution in codes, and be able to program (or to learn to program) in C++. You will need to be capable of finding new ways of solving complex sets of fluids equations, and be able to test these equations in a variety of different geometries using different computational grid set-ups. The project is theoretical and numerical, but the worldwide interest in this research means that, during the course of the project, you will present your work at international conferences and other research centres in the UK and abroad.
The position is available for 3 years from 1st October 2004, although the start date is flexible. The starting salary is £23,643 (point 8 on the RA1A scale), and will rise each year of the project, in addition to a cost-of-living rise. Salary and project achievements will be reviewed annually with the project supervisors.
To apply, please email a covering letter and full Curriculum Vitae (or Resume), with a list of your publications and the names and contact details of two referees to
We value diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community worldwide. The closing date for all applications is Monday 9th August 2004.
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