With a growing interest in the introduction of hydrogen to the natural gas grid, and its resultant use, including pure hydrogen, in homes for heating, cooking and power supply it is important to understand the specific hazards and associated risks pertinent to the use of hydrogen in a domestic setting. Appliances such as fuel cells, boilers, and burners, are being developed specifically for use with hydrogen and hydrogen blends.
Validated contemporary CFD models and reduced engineering tools for reliable prediction of an incident dynamics in a residential setting are needed for reliable hydrogen safety engineering. Safety challenges include understanding the behaviour of a leak of hydrogen or hydrogen blends, including harmful impurities, validation of the similarity law for concentration decay in momentum-dominated jets for blends, application of the under-expanded jet theory to blends, assessment of leak and dispersion of flammable gas from flanges and joints, safety strategies to exclude accumulation of flammable mixtures, and appropriate venting strategies.
The effect of buoyancy on the release of hydrogen blends could also be investigated. Hydrogen specific prevention and mitigation concepts are needed to efficiently tackle hydrogen dispersion and combustion in residential environments. There is a need to understand and exclude the potential thermal and pressure effects of an incident on the integrity of the property.
This doctoral study could incorporate elements of the following:
- Identification and prioritisation of relevant knowledge gaps.
- Theoretical and numerical studies to close knowledge gaps and address technological bottlenecks.
- Development of innovative safety strategies and engineering solutions to prevent and mitigate incidents with hydrogen and its blends in domestic settings.
- Determination and characterisation of specific hazard and associated risks.
- Development and validation of novel engineering tools required for hazards and risk assessment.
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of conventional and innovative prevention and mitigation techniques and incident management strategies concerning specific hazards implied with the use of hydrogen or its blends in domestic settings, etc.
The expected impact of the study could include: validated contemporary CFD models and engineering 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 in a domestic setting, etc. The study will focus on a combination of theoretical and numerical (CFD) studies, the use of ANSYS Fluent as a computational engine, multi-processor Linux-based hardware of HPC suite, etc. The results of this doctoral research will be aligned to HySAFER’s externally funded projects and reported at international conferences as relevant.
Publication of results in peer-reviewed journals is expected.
- 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
If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.
- Masters at 65%
This project is funded by: SusHY
These fully funded scholarships include a tax-free stipend of £16,909 per annum, subject to satisfactory progress over a 4 year period, tuition fees, and a research budget. These awards are open to home/EU and overseas applicants.
The Doctoral College at Ulster University
I had an interesting time at Ulster University, Jordanstown. Many thanks to all the lecturers, library staff and research school for their time and effort getting me through my PhD!
Philip Bradley - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
My proudest moment was when I was accepted to pursue my PhD in Ulster University. My favourite memory was how I met my group of friends who also pursue their dreams in this foreign country. I'll never forget the tough times I underwent during my study, but thanks to those times that I finally managed to lose weight. I couldn't have got through this without my supervisors' support, kind encouragement and firmest trust. If I could speak to myself at the start of my PhD, the best piece of advice I would give myself would be - do not procrastinate, you gotta learn to move forward in life when you feel stuck.
Mengmeng Dou - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
I came to Ulster University to challenge myself with a PhD study under Vice-Chancellor's Research Studentship at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning. My supervisors helped me much from giving valuable guidance to supporting any difficulties, which makes me feel that I am the luckiest student.I would like to take this opportunity to thank my supervisors, family, friends and colleagues for supporting me tirelessly. Without you, I couldn't have got through my PhD with some great achievements:Best PhD Research Paper in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning, Ulster UniversityBest Student Paper Award at the conference of World Congress on Engineering and Computer Science 2017, San Francisco, USA.Student Registration Grant for demonstrating academic excellence in research at 17th International Conference on Sustainable Technologies (SET 2018), China.
Khoa Xuan Le - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
My academic background includes a MSc in Process Safety Technology, in which my topic of thesis involved the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier. This prompted me to further my knowledge in this field by embarking on a PhD at the HySAFER institute at Ulster University. Here, I conducted research on the consequences of stored hydrogen tank rupture in confined space, with the use of computational fluid dynamics.My proudest moment in all of this was informing my parents, not only for being accepted as a PhD researcher at Ulster University, but also after three years that it was indeed completed. It goes without saying that without the guidance and support from my supervisors, the companionship created by my fellow colleagues with whom I shared an office with, and the people otherwise encountered and befriended during this period, the light at the end of the tunnel of it all would have rather been a train. And for that, I will be forever grateful and all the attained memories preserved
Wulme Dery - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
I worked for 35 years for the Housing Executive - latterly as its Head of Research. I had completed an MSc in Urban Policy in the 2000s - and it had been a longstanding ambition of mine to complete a PhD that brought together a number of strands of policy-related research that had been of particular interest to me. Undertaking a PhD at Ulster University allowed me to fulfil this ambition in an enjoyable manner.Completing my PhD has brought me an immense amount of personal satisfaction. A major part of this was down to the incredible support I received from my two supervisors Professor Stanley McGreal and Dr Michael McCord. Their ongoing advice, encouragement and support helped take me outside my comfort zone and played a major part in my achievement. Even my viva proved to be an enjoyable experience and enabled me to feel that I had gained a level of expertise in a sphere that could make a small but significant contribution to addressing some of the key housing issues facing policy
Joe Frey - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
I am a senior researcher at Korea Fire Institute which is a state-owned company specialised at fire safety engineering in the Republic of Korea. I obtained BSc and MSc in mechanical engineering. Prior to enter a PhD course at the School of the Built Environment in Ulster University, I worked for over a decade in the engineering industry. With relation to my PhD topic, my current research field is on fire safety using experimental and numerical approaches.Finally, I finished my study in Ulster University and became a Doctor of Philosophy in a field of fire safety!! There were a lot of good memories at Ulster University. I will never forget the rainbow on the Jordanstown campus which helps me to relieve my stress caused by stuck in concrete damaged plasticity theory. I felt great when receiving an annual PhD conference award as the best poster. I was excited to spent time with my officemates, Rumeel, and Emmanuel. I love every moment at Room 4B01 because it was a time to enhance my
Ohk Kun Lim - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
I am a Swiss citizen, grew up in Papua New Guinea and graduated from Ukarumpa International Schools. I was trained and certified as a Swiss cabinetmaker and hold a Swiss diploma in electrical engineering from the Bern University of applied Science. In the past ten years I have been employed at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology and have performed research in the field of energy conversion and storage. Research activities include; Alkali water electrolysis, metal hydride hydrogen storage, PEM fuel cell and stack development, catalytic oxidation of hydrogen for high temperature heat (cooking), energy systems for autarky living and liquid sorption heat storage. I lead the subtask Components and Systems of the IEA, SHC Program, Task 58 ‘Material and Component Development for Thermal Energy Storage’ and have performed a part time external PhD at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment in the development of a heat and mass
Benjamin Fumey - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
I studied my Integrated Masters (MSci) at Jordanstown from 2008-2012. After a few years working as an Estate Agent, I went back to academia to complete my PhD, looking at the broad area of health within the field of planning.Many PhDs are given a topic to begin with, however when I applied for the PhD scholarship I had to create my own research topic. This took me a while to establish, but eventually my hard work paid off and I narrowed my research into an area I am truly proud of - Active living, how the built environment can influence physical activity and how this was interpreted in the domains listed in my thesis title. My favourite aspect of the PhD was presenting my research and getting the acknowledgment from other academics that my research was interesting, robust and well thought out. I submitted an abstract to AESOP, an annual planning conference, and was given the opportunity to present my work in Venice. I also presented my work to the president of RTPI. There is nothing
Owen Hawe - PhD in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning