Tianyi Zhang

Research Project Title:
Plasticity induced magnetisation losses in energy conversion processes

Research Project Summary:
Cutting of metallic sheets causes defects, which enhance magnetisation hysteresis and energy conversion losses. The structure defect in crystal can interact with the magnetic domain boundary. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulation can model the microstructure of the defect cores predictively but the magnetism and magnetic domain boundaries are rarely modelled together in MD simulation.

In this project, we aim to identify the mechanisms of energy conversion loses to develop mechanism-based materials design approach to increase conversion efficiency. This aim requires to develop and implement a MD simulation which can combine the atomic position and magnetization.

Student Profile:
I completed my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Nanjing Tech University in 2017, following with the Master of Engineering (Mechanical) at the University of Melbourne in 2020. I did some projects about material simulation during the study in UoM. It is excited to implement new material design (especially the atomic simulation) and there are many things to do in this field.

I decided to do a research degree which can offer me a chance to explore this amazing material simulation field. I browsed this joint PhD project and felt it is a good opportunity for my following research study. I will work for the simulation of magnetic domain boundary interacted with the dislocations in Iron.

Project Duration: 3.5 years

Supervisors:
The University of Melbourne: Christian Brandl
RWTH Aachen: Sandra Korte-Kerzel


Weiqi Sun

Research Project Title: Boundary layers with embedded streamwise vortices

Research Project Summary:
Boundary layer embedded with streamwise vortices evolves as a secondary flow, which is a prevalent phenomenon in many aerodynamics and hydrodynamic applications. This project will investigate how boundary layer with this perturbation evolve in the downstream direction and respond to the pressure gradient through experimental (high-resolution PIV) and numerical techniques such as LES (Large Eddy Simulation).

Student Profile:
I achieved my master degree in Zhejiang University, majoring in fluid mechanics. I love observing, recording and exploring interesting flow phenomena in nature (e.g., the flight of dandelion). My research in my graduate stage focuses numerical simulation of evaporating and atomizing behavior of precursor droplets in plasma gas, especially addressing the relation between evaporation and atomization of droplets in the thermal flow field of plasma gas.

My research interest in the following PhD stage focuses on elucidating the role of the various complicated vortices in nature and industry, and uncovering the underlying physical mechanism behind them (e.g., the leading-edge vortex and the separated vortex ring utilized by wind-dispersed seeds).

I see this joint project as a continual opportunity of my long-term research goal on more directly exploring significant flow phenomenon in nature and industrial applications (often involved with complicated vortex flow) with accurately numerical too, such as DNS (Direct Numerical Simulation), and reliable experimental observation.

Project Duration:  3.5 – 4 years

Supervisors:
The University of Melbourne: Joseph Klewicki and Jimmy Philip

RWTH Aachen: Wolfgang Schroeder, Matthias Meinke, and Michael Klaas

 

 


Behaviour of thermal piles in loose/very loose granular materials

Evidence from grain silos and integral bridges shows that relatively rigid structures in contact with loosely packed soils subjected to thermal cycles, can fail due to the increased packing density caused by temperature induced movements within the soil.

This phenomenon has not been investigated in the context of geothermal piles. RWTH Aachen Chair of Geotechnical Engineering has a large cylindrical pit of 6m depth and 3m diameter where bearing capacity tests will be carried at almost real scale.

The project will investigate the hypothesis that thermal cycling can lead to failure of piles from increased soil density. It will consist of numerical modelling anchored on the University of Melbourne’s previous developments,  and of experiments primary arising from the near real scale testing at RWTH complemented with (thermal only) testing of pile at Melbourne University’s new Fisherman’s Bend campus, dominated by (saturated) high void ratio normally consolidated clays. The project aims at evaluating the impact of the presence of loosely packed soils in the bearing capacity of geo-thermal piles and temporal changes in thermal performance.

Principal Investigators:

The University of Melbourne: Associate Professor Guillermo Narsilio

RWTH Aachen: Prof. Dr. Raul Fuentes


Optimisation of the reuse of decommissioned open cast pit coal mines for district heating and cooling

Meeting the future-emission reduction targets requires innovative ideas that, all combined, will help meting this goal.

In traditionally coal mining intensive regions, common to both Australia and Germany, the use of decommissioned mines remains and intensive debate topic between local officials, residents and technical experts.

This study will focus on numerical modelling tools to evaluate the best back-filling arrangement of open cast coal mines for their exploitation as sources of heat for district heating purposes. For example, the use of materials with different thermal gradients can have a positive effect on the energy production of such installations and this will be investigated as other variables such as well depth and positions, and groundwater flow.

Principal Investigators:

The University of Melbourne: Associate Professor Guillermo Narsilio

RWTH Aachen: Prof. Dr. Raul Fuentes

 


Our Supervisors

Professor Sandra KentishProfessor Sandra Kentish
Sandra Kentish is  the academic lead of the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program.  She is Head of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering and an invited Professor at the Centre for Water, Earth and the Environment within the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Canada. She is also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Novel flowable lithium-ion battery.

Dr Christian Brandl
Christian Brandl is a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering and also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Plasticity induced magnetisation losses in energy conversion processes.

Associate Professor Robert Crawford
Robert Crawford is the Associate Professor in Construction and Environmental Assessment in the Melbourne School of Design and also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Life cycle sustainability assessment of office buildings, from smart to sustainable.

Professor Amanda Ellis
Amanda Ellis is a Professor and Head of Department of Chemical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering and also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Tuning carbon properties for slurry flow electrodes in Vanadium Redox Batteries.

Dr Eirini Godeli
Eirini Goudeli is Lecturer of Chemical Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering and also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program projects on A comparative study of engine performance and pollutant formation during diesel and dimethyl ether injection and Behaviour of methanol/gasoline injection in spark ignition engines.

Professor Joseph Klewicki
Joe Klewicki is Head of the School of Electrical, Mechanical and Infrastructure (EMI) Engineering in the Melbourne School of Engineering and also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Boundary layers with embedded streamwise vortices.

Professor Pierluigi Mancarella
Pierluigi Mancarella is Chair Professor of Electrical Power Systems in the Melbourne School of Engineering and Professor of Smart Energy Systems at the University of Manchester, UK. He is also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Virtual Power Plants: Pathway to clean electricity in urban areas.

Associate Professor Guillermo Narsilio
Guillermo Narsilio is an Associate Professor in Geotechnical Engineering and Deputy Head of Department of Infrastructure Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program projects on Optimisation of the reuse of decommissioned open cast pit coal mines for district heating and cooling and Behaviour of thermal piles in loose / very loose granular materials.

Professor Richard Sandberg
Richard Sandberg is Chair of Computational Mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Melbourne School of Engineering and also the lead for the RWTH Aachen-Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD program project on Use of machine learning to optimise turbulence modelling.


RWTH and Melbourne target growth in Joint PhD numbers

On Monday 21st of October a delegation from the University of Melbourne visited RWTH Aachen University to celebrate the development of the RWTH Aachen – University of Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD Group, as well as discuss potential for collaboration across other themes and disciplines.

unimelb and aachen delegation
Delegates from the University of Melbourne and RWTH Aachen and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in October 2019.

The University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, met with the Rector of Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, and discussed the formation of the RWTH Aachen – University of Melbourne (RUM) Joint PhD Group. The visit by Melbourne was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service.


Boundary layers with embedded streamwise vortices

While the past decades have seen substantial advancements in our capacity to numerically model wall-bounded turbulent flows, wall-flows encountering additional perturbations remain a significant challenge. Such flows include the effects of heterogeneous roughness, pressure gradients and additional strainrates, or combinations of these. For many aerodynamic and hydrodynamic applications, a prevalent circumstance is the presence of organized streamwise vortices that evolve as a secondary flow embedded within a boundary layer.

The purpose of this project is to investigate how boundary layers with this perturbation evolve in the downstream direction and respond to streamwise pressure gradients. A primary focus will be on the detailed physics of the embedded vortex flow evolution, with the aim of gaining insights on how to efficiently model such effects in the RANS or hybrid RANS simulations that are useful to industry. Thus, the experiments will focus on high-resolution PIV of the streamwise vortex system that forms in a laminar boundary layer junction flow. These experiments will be conducted in a small water channel at Melbourne. To complement these experiments, high resolution direct numerical simulations (DNS) will be conducted at Aachen. Accordingly, the PhD student’s efforts will focus on the analysis of the DNS in Germany and conducting and analysing the experiments in Australia.

Supervisors:

The University of Melbourne: Joe Klewicki and Jimmy Philip

RWTH Aachen: Wolfgang Schroeder, Matthias Meinke, and Michael Klaas.

 

 


Use of machine learning to optimise turbulence modelling

Industry relies heavily on turbulence models to make numerical predictions sufficiently affordable. However, in many situations the lack of predictive accuracy of the underlying models limits the impact that computational methods can have on technology development.

In this project, a novel machine learning approach will be applied to translate the physics contained in data into tangible turbulence models with improved accuracy. In particular, this will be done by fusing the machine learning process with an a-posteriori evaluation of the novel models into a single, integrated framework. This will ensure that the models are useable, robust, and can be implemented easily.

Supervisors:

The University of Melbourne: Richard Sandberg and Mohsen Talei.

RWTH Aachen: Jens Göbbert, Antonio Attili, and Heinz Pitsch.

 

 


A comparative study of engine performance and pollutant formation during diesel and dimethyl ether injection

Compression ignition engines are likely to remain a dominant prime mover for the foreseeable future, particularly in heavy duty road transport, sea transport and power generation. Dimethyl ether (DME) is one proposed zero emission fuel for compression ignition engines that can be made using renewable energy. DME also possesses several properties that makes it superior to diesel in terms of both engine performance and emissions.

However, several processes by which pollutants are formed in compression ignition engines are still poorly understood. This is particularly the case for particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) with alternative fuels such as DME. This project will therefore undertake a comparative experimental and numerical study of the formation of PM and NOx in diesel and DME sprays using a Constant Volume Chamber (CVC) and Large Eddy Simulations (LES).

Supervisors:

The University of Melbourne: Eirini Godeli, Mohsen Talei, Robert Gordon, Yi Yang, and Michael Brear

RWTH Aachen: Marco Davidovic, Joachim Beeckmann, and Heinz Pitsch

Contact:

Once you have read the application guidelines and gathered the appropriate documentation please send your application to: Prof. Michael Brear

 


Behaviour of methanol/gasoline injection in spark ignition engines

Spark ignition engines are the dominant prime mover in passenger vehicles today, and this will remain the case for decades to come whilst the vehicle fleet evolves towards greater hybridization and electrification. It is well known that increasing fuel octane enables lower greenhouse gas emissions from spark ignition engines, and that direct injection in spark ignition (SI) engines is now commonplace. However, it is less well known that the addition of methanol to gasoline can enable very substantial octane boost, and that zero emission methanol can be made using renewable energy.

Despite these trends, modelling fuel injection and combustion remains a major challenge for engine and fuel designers, particularly with alternative fuels such as methanol. This project will therefore first undertake a detailed experimental study of the direct injection of different gasoline/methanol mixtures in a Constant Volume Chamber (CVC). High Performance Computation using Large Eddy Simulations (LES) will then be validated using these experiments.

Supervisors:

The University of Melbourne: Eirini Godeli, Mohsen Talei, Robert Gordon, Yi Yang, and Michael Brear

RWTH Aachen: Marco Davidovic, Joachim Beeckmann, and Heinz Pitsch

Contact:

Once you have read the application guidelines and gathered the appropriate documentation please send your application to: Prof. Michael Brear

 


Number of posts found: 17