Research Studentship in Transpiration Cooled Systems for Hypersonic Vehicles

Research Studentship in Transpiration Cooled Systems for Hypersonic Vehicles

Supervisor: Prof Matthew McGilvray

Details of Post

The two studentships are part of a larger EPSRC funded project on Transpiration cooling systems for hypersonic flight and gas turbines. This research programme includes collaborators at Imperial, Birmingham and Southampton universities and is a multi-disciplinary programme from materials development to numerical analysis of the flow.

Transpiration cooling is the addition of a coolant through a porous material into the sub-layer of boundary layer. This active cooling system has potential use in hypersonic vehicles where an extremely hot plasma is generated when flying through an atmosphere, resulting in enormous heat fluxes to the vehicle. Transpiration cooling can reduce the overall heat-flux through internal cooling of the material and the coverage of the external surface with a cool gas. This technology could enable the reusability of future space planes, moving past current one-mission ablative heat shield technology. The current research will underpin the fundamental understanding required to make the technology a reality in future flight vehicles.

The successful students will specifically focus on experiments to: understand how does coolant chemistry affect the overall coolant performance. Experiments will be undertaken in the University of Oxford’s new hypersonic wind tunnels which can generate speeds up to 25,000 miles per hour. There will be the opportunity of applying novel laser diagnostic techniques to understand the flow processes with supervision from Dr Benjamin Williams.

The student will be expected to interact and present their work to the other project partners including those at other universities and industrial partners. It is expected that the student will submit their work and present at the top international conferences in the field.

Further information on the Osney Hypersonics Research Group and the EPSRC Transpiration Cooling project can be found at: &

Details of Research/Funding

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students, as are Oxford college fees (c. £7,432 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £14,553 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years. 

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Chemistry;
  • Experience in fluid &/or heat transfer experiments demonstrated by a publication at an international conference or an international journal;
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills;

The following skills are desirable but not essential: 

  • Experience in conducting thermal and fluid numerical analyses
  • Knowledge of laser &/or optical diagnostic techniques
  • Ability to program in Matlab;

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Matthew McGilvray (

Candidates must also submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website at

Please quote 18ENGIN_MM01 in all correspondence to the Department and in your graduate application.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof Matthew McGilvray at Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

Application deadline: noon on 19 January 2018

Start date: October 2018