Summary

The specific hazards and associated risks of hydrogen vehicles use in covered carparks are largely unknown and thus prevention and mitigation strategies have not yet been developed or validated. Previous activities are predominantly focussed on the fire scenarios with fossil fuels and do not address the hydrogen specific hazards. Particularly pressure and thermal effects related to release of hydrogen from high pressure onboard storage through TPRD in the case of fire.

Regulations, Codes and Standards (RCS) require a scientifically sound basis for the implementation of necessary safety strategies and engineering solutions. Validated engineering models and tools for reliable prediction of an accident dynamics in underground parking are needed for hydrogen safety engineering. Unresolved safety concerns include but are not limited to: appropriate venting strategies, hydrogen specific prevention and mitigation concepts to efficiently tackle hydrogen dispersion and combustion, the impact of a hydrogen incident on the integrity of the carpark structure, domino effect on neighbouring vehicles, mitigation against the effects of blast waves and fireballs in a covered carpark, etc. These knowledge gaps and technological bottlenecks in hydrogen safety hamper the further inherently safer deployment of hydrogen-powered vehicles, and the public acceptance of the technology.

The scope of this doctoral study could incorporate elements of:

  • identification and prioritisation of relevant knowledge gaps;
  • performing analytical and numerical studies to close identified knowledge gaps;
  • development of innovative safety strategies and engineering solutions to prevent and mitigate accidents with hydrogen powered vehicles in a covered carpark;
  • determination of specific hazard and risk relevant parameters;
  • development and validation of novel engineering tools, required for the hazard and associated risk assessment;
  • evaluation of effectiveness of conventional and innovative prevention and mitigation techniques and accident management strategies with respect to the specific hazards implied with hydrogen use, etc.

The expected impact of the study could include: validated contemporary models and tools for hydrogen safety engineering; deeper knowledge of the underlying physical phenomena; innovative prevention and mitigation strategies; guidelines for inherently safer design and use of hydrogen systems in carparks with hydrogen vehicles, etc. The study will focus on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling, use of the relevant computational engines, e.g. FLUENT, multi-processor Linux-based hardware, etc. The results of this doctoral research will be aligned to HySAFER’s externally funded projects and reported at international conferences. Publication of results in peer reviewed journals is expected.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,285 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University