Funded PhD OpportunitySafety of Liquified Hydrogen in Energy Applications

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Liquified hydrogen (LH2) is the most efficient way to transport hydrogen over large distances at emerging state of hydrogen infrastructure when pipelines are not yet available as an alternative way to deliver hydrogen to refuelling stations and homes. This is the inherently safer way to store and distribute large amount of hydrogen at refuelling stations. The development of innovative safety strategies and engineering solutions for LH2 systems and infrastructure requires fundamental understanding of underlying physical phenomena and validated engineering models and tools for safety design.

The models and safety measures to prevent and mitigate accidents involving LH2 systems and infrastructure have to be developed. The following phenomena have to be studied yet to underpin the development of the technology: multiphase release and dispersion of LH2 in the open atmosphere and confined spaces; release and dispersion of cryogenic hydrogen; thermal hazards from low temperatures; ignition parameters and flammability limits of cryogenic hydrogen; explosion of LH2 tank in BLEVE (Boiling Liquide Expanding Vapour Explosion) regime; pressure and thermal loads from LH2 and cryogenic hydrogen combustion in confined and congested areas; etc. The suitability of available tools for gaseous hydrogen to releases of LH2 and cryogenic hydrogen should be critically analysed. Novel analytical and numerical tools for calculation of hazard distance for LH2 and cryogenic hydrogen should be developed based on an improved understanding of the underlying physics. The developed models must be validated against experimental data that will be obtained in collaboration with our European partners during delivery of H2020 project PRESLHY “”.

The successful candidate will work at HySAFER Centre, which is a key provider of hydrogen safety research and education globally. This doctoral project will contribute to PRESLHY project “Pre-normative research for safe use of liquid hydrogen”, which will start in 2018. The thrust in research will be on the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and theoretical studies in conjunction with analysis of available and new experimental data, which will be obtained within PRESLHY. HySAFER team uses mainly Ansys Fluent as computational engine with User Defined Functions to implement own sub-models. Candidate’s experience in the use of CFD software (FLUENT, OpenFOAM, etc.) is welcome. The candidate could select for his/her proposal writing any or a mixture of above mentioned knowledge gaps in LH2 safety. The results of research should be presented to PRESLHY partners and at conferences.

Education in combustion and experience in CFD are welcome. The state-of-the-art software and hardware are available. HySAFER pursues a wide international collaboration strategy through national (EPSRC) and overseas (H2020) research projects.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of not less than £14,553 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.

    Department for the Economy (DfE)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees at the home rate and, for applicants with UK residence only, a maintenance allowance of not less than £14.553 per annum for three years. EU residents may also apply but, if successful, will receive fees only.

Other information

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

Watch Video

Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
12 March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Dmitriy Makarov

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #237942 when applying for this PhD opportunity