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Research Assistant/Associate in Hydrogen Flames

Requisition ID:  24894

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  17-Mar-2023


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


What’s in it for you? Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Newcastle is an inclusive global University community where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.



Research Assistant: £30,619 to £32,411 per annum

Research Associate: £33,348 to £39,592 per annum


Closing Date: 14 April 2023


The Role


The School of Engineering at Newcastle University (NU) is seeking to appoint a PDRA to work on a new EPSRC project in collaboration with the University of Cambridge (UoC).  The project will investigate thermodiffusively-unstable lean premixed hydrogen flames with digital and physical twins at NU and UoC, respectively.  The aim is to develop improved turbulent-flame modelling necessary to design and develop efficient carbon-free combustors for transportation and power generation with low NOx emissions.


The numerical approach will be to use the Pele suite of codes to perform Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) with detailed chemistry.  A range of high-performance computing (HPC) architectures will be used, including a significant amount of compute time on the national facility Archer2.  


As a PDRA, you will be a key member of the team, focussing on developing numerical experiments, data analysis and post-processing.  You will be based in Newcastle but will work closely with the team in Cambridge; in particular, to make direct comparisons of DNS data with the physical twin.  Turbulent-flame models will be analysed and developed for LES and RANS applications, working with industrial partners.  You will be supported in preparing papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, as well as presenting the work at national and international conferences.


The successful candidate will hold (or be near to completing) a PhD in numerical turbulent fluid mechanics or closely related area; experience of programming/code development will be essential, and experience with turbulent combustion will be advantageous.


For more information about the School of Engineering, and our research, please click here.


We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.


The appointment is fixed-term, tenable for 32 months in the first instance from 1st April 2023 and is offered on a full-time basis (37 hours per week).


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.


For informal queries regarding the role, please contact Dr. Andrew Aspden, Lecturer in Thermo-Fluid Dynamics, at:


Key Accountabilities

  • Designing, executing, and analysing large direct numerical simulations of turbulent premixed flames on high-performance computing architectures
  • Collaborating with academic partners at the University of Cambridge and analysing DNS data for direct comparison with physical twin
  • Analysis and development of turbulent flame modelling approaches and collaborating with industrial partners
  • Writing journal articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presenting at national and international conferences


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Knowledge of turbulent fluid dynamics and turbulence modelling approaches
  • Knowledge of numerical methods for PDEs, and computational fluid dynamics
  • Programming experience (preferably C++)
  • Experience designing, executing, and analysing numerical experiments for turbulent fluid dynamics
  • Ability to communicate technical work to academic and industrial partners
  • Ability to prepare journal articles for publication


  • Knowledge of premixed flames and turbulent-flame modelling
  • Experience running large direct numerical simulation of turbulent fluid dynamics
  • Experience with high performance computing architectures
  • Experience simulating thermodiffusively-unstable lean premixed hydrogen
  • A track record of dissemination through high-quality peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations


Attributes and Behaviour

  • High level of analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work well as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Capable of communicating complex information clearly to different audiences
  • Professional approach with a commitment to equality, diversity, dignity, and respect in the workplace



  • PhD awarded (or near completion) in numerical turbulent fluid dynamics (mathematics, physics, engineering), or closely related field



The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University is also a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 24894