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  3. PhD position; Onset and optimal heat transfer in rotating convection

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PhD position; Onset and optimal heat transfer in rotating convection

Are you fascinated by physics and interested in developing state-of-the-art fluid dynamics computer simulations to better understand real world problems? Are …

4 maanden geleden


Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


Are you fascinated by physics and interested in developing state-of-the-art fluid dynamics computer simulations to better understand real world problems? Are you ambitious and dynamic? Do you strive for excellence? We are looking for a PhD student to carry out state-of-the-art research on turbulent convection. Thermal convection plays a crucial role in natural and industrial settings, from astrophysical and geophysical flows to process engineering. In many of these processes, rotation plays an important role. The paradigmatic representation of thermal convection is Rayleigh–Bénard flow; a layer of fluid heated from below and cooled from above. The heat transport in such a fluid layer increases sharply when we rotate the system. This happens because of a process called Ekman pumping, due to which hot or cold fluid is pulled into vertically aligned, tornado like, vortices, which very effectively transport heat. For relatively low Rayleigh (dimensionless temperature difference between the plates), we understand this process well. However, preliminary results for higher Rayleigh, relevant for various of the above mentioned applications, reveal unexpected transitions between different turbulent regimes and a strong dependence on the geometry of the system. Both observations conflict with traditional understanding of rotating convection. High-fidelity numerical simulations are an ideal tool to improve our fundamental insight of such flows as these simulations allow us to visualize the flow and study important physical effects under controlled and reproducible conditions. In this PhD project, funded by an ERC starting grant, you will further develop and use state-of-the-art direct numerical simulations to study the effect of rotation on highly turbulent thermal convection. You will use high-fidelity simulations to figure out what physical mechanisms determine the under what conditions the heat transport in rotating thermal convection is optimal.


You will work in the Physics of Fluids group at the University of Twente (UT) in the Netherlands. The research in our group covers a variety of aspects in fluid mechanics. Our group focuses on understanding fundamental fluid physics phenomena using experiments, simulations, and theory. Our group is embedded in the Twente Max Planck Center, the J.M. Burgers Research Center for fluid mechanics, and the MESA+ and MIRA Institutes. Our group has access to several top supercomputers in Europe and the US. For further information, you are encouraged to view pof.tnw.utwente.nl and stilton.tnw.utwente.nl/people/stevensr to read our recent publications on the topic.


You have a background in applied physics or mechanical engineering, or in a closely related discipline. You have strong communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English. You are enthusiastic, and highly motivated to do a PhD. Programming experience in C or Fortran is a plus.


We want you to play a key role in an ambitious project in an inspiring and stimulating international work environment.

    • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating, modern research environment with world-class research facilities.
    • You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers.
    • You will be embedded in a dynamic research group with colleagues working on similar topics.
    • Additionally, the UT is a green campus with excellent facilities and resources for professional and personal development.
    • You will follow a high-quality personalized educational program.
    • The research will result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.
    • We strive for diversity and fairness in hiring.
    • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
    • The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.325,- in the first year and increases to € 2.972,- in the fourth year of your employment;


Potential applicants are encouraged to apply to Dr. Richard Stevens (r.j.a.m.stevens@utwente.nl).

Applications should include the following documents:

    • A motivation letter describing why you want to apply for this position.
    • Description of your research interests.
    • A detailed CV.
    • Academic transcripts from your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
    • Email addresses of at least two references who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
    • An interview with a scientific presentation will be part of the interview process.