Advanced seals for turbine secondary air systems

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship within the Centre for Aerodynamics at the University of Surrey.

Funding information

A tax free stipend of £16,000 per year will be provided over the 3 year duration of the PhD. The studentship will also cover UK university fees. There will also be an opportunity receive further payments for teaching duties undertaken in the department.


Gas and steam turbines continue to be developed for air, sea, and land-based power plant applications. They are continually evolving to operate at higher overall pressure ratio and turbine inlet temperature. Advanced sealing technology is needed, within the secondary air systems of these machines, to reduce waste leakages and to maintain a dependable supply of cooling air to hot components.

Seals in general are critical to overall thermal efficiency and in reducing specific fuel consumption. One such seal, the brush seal, has seen limited success to date, and needs to operate within harsh environments in terms of pressure, temperature, inlet flow velocities, and relative movements between the mounting stator and the rotating shaft against which a seal is formed.

In this project you will use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and the Surrey University Brush Seal Iterative Simulator (SUBSIS) mechanical model to capture the coupled aerodynamic and structural behaviour of these seal types, and to be able to provide design insights that can inform future applications.

This project will be supervised by Dr Michael Pekris ( and Professor John W Chew.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants should have a first class or a good upper second degree in engineering or a related subject. Some coding ability, or willingness to develop this skill, would be desirable.

How to apply

For informal enquiries prior to or following application submission, please contact: Dr Michael Pekris.

For Enquiries on the application procedure, please contact:

Formal applications should be submitted through our Aerodynamic and Environmental Flow PhD programme page. You should make it clear in your application that you are applying for this studentship.

The University of Surrey is committed to equality of opportunity in employment and offers many opportunities to help researchers develop as independent researchers.

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Contact details

Michael J Pekris
07 AB 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689293

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