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PhD project on Computer simulations of cavitation-induced pressure waves and erosion of nearby solid surfacesPostdoctoral position in Computational Nanomedicine

A PhD position is available at the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. The project concerns the modelling and simulation of cavitation erosion including the effect of high-temperature spots in the erosion process.

Cavitation erosion involves various phenomena that occur at different scales ranging from the collapse of the bubble to the propagation of the shock wave into the solid structure. Computer simulation of each of these phenomena relies on different modelling techniques but no model can cover, alone, the complexity of the system under investigation and a unified computational methodology is required. At the University of Birmingham we have developed a hybrid technique (called Discrete Multiphysics DMP) that, by linking together different models, can reach results not attainable with each technique separately. This method has been successfully tested for a variety of multiphase systems at various flow conditions and length scales and, in this project, will be extended to the case of cavitation erosion. This will be achieved by combining together smoothed-particle hydrodynamics (SPH) and coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD). The SPH method, in fact, is particularly effective in modelling shock waves, while CGMD is more accurate in the calculation of shock-induced damage in solids. By combining these two techniques in a hybrid fashion, we can link the propagation of the shock wave generated by the collapse of a spherical void within the liquid and the consequent erosion caused by its impact on a solid surface. This is a clear advantage over traditional numerical techniques such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) that can only deal with the hydrodynamics of cavitation and not with the effect of hydrodynamics on the erosion of the solid surface. We will also extend the DMP to include heat transfer and heat generation to assess the effect of temperature on erosion.

The project is funded by the US Office of Naval Research (USNO).

Applicants require a 2:1 or higher MEng Honours degree in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Physics or in a related subject area. Knowledge of C++ and programming experience is essential; specific interest or previous work in fluid mechanics and/or particle methods (e.g. Molecular Dynamics or Discrete Element Method) would be an advantage. The project is open to UK or EU applicants only.

The School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham has one of the largest concentrations of Chemical Engineering expertise in the UK and it has been ranked third in UK in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Enquiries should be directed to Dr. Alessio Alexiadis:


The Laboratory of Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine at IIT – Genova ( focuses its research activities on the rational design of nanoconstructs for multi-modal imaging and combination therapy in cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases; fabrication of microfluidic chips for the screening of nanomedicines and the analysis of tumor biophysics; and development of hierarchical multi-scale computational models. This is achieved by integrating the expertise of biomedical engineers, physicists, chemists, biologists, pharmacologists, and clinical scientists.

The Laboratory of Nanotechnology for Precision Medicine seeks a post-doc in the framework of the European Research Council project “Engineering Discoidal Polymeric Nanoconstructs for the Multi-Physics Treatment of Brain Tumors – POTENT” funded by the European Commission with Grant Agreement n. 616695, to work on the development of computational models for assessing the transport of nanomedicines within the vascular and extravascular compartments.

Models will help elucidating the interaction of circulating nanoconstructs with red blood cells, endothelial cells lining the blood vessel walls and epithelial/cancer cells residing in the malignant tissue. This will be achieved by developing hierarchical and multi-physics computational models combining continuum mechanics approaches with Lattice Boltzmann and Molecular Dynamics methods.

The selected candidate will closely collaborate with experimentalists for validating the simulations and developing truly predictive models.

The ideal candidates will have:

  • a PhD in Computational Sciences, Engineering, Theoretical Chemistry or Physics;
  • previous experience in parallel and multiscale computing;
  • ability to properly report research data and work in a highly interdisciplinary environment.

For any informal questions, please contact directly Dr. Paolo Decuzzi

For a formal application, please send a CV, a cover letter describing your previous work and career goals, and names of 2 referees to

Please apply by June 30, 2017