Data-driven modelling of laminar-turbulent transition in wall-bounded flows

This project will investigate laminar-turbulence transition in wall-bounded flows through a multidisciplinary and data-driven approach.

Start date

1 October 2022


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, University of Surrey

Funding information

A stipend of £16,062 for 2022/23, which will increase each year in line with the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) rate, in addition to £1,000 per annum to be spent on research and training. Home rate fee allowance of £4,500 (with automatic increase to UKRI rate each year). For exceptional international candidates, there is the possibility of obtaining a scholarship to cover overseas fees.


Transition from a laminar to a turbulent state in a fluid flow is a widely observed phenomenon occurring in a large variety of natural and engineering applications. Understanding under which conditions laminar-turbulence transition takes place, as well as the dominant mechanisms at play, is crucial for the development of reliable models, and for the implementation of effective control strategies [1]. The aim of this project is to provide a data-driven characterization of laminar-turbulence transition in wall-bounded flows, combining fluid dynamics, data analysis, and network theory within a multidisciplinary framework. The project will be mainly numerically/theoretically oriented, but experimental work exploiting one of EPSRC’s National Wind Tunnel Facilities could be included.

A later start date of October 2022 is also possible.


[1] Tuckerman, Chantry, and Barkley, (2020) Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 52, 343-367.

Eligibility criteria

We are seeking highly motivated candidates with degrees in a relevant engineering field (e.g., aeronautics, environmental, civil, mechanical), as well as physical sciences or applied mathematics, with excellent communications skills, and a strong inclination towards multidisciplinary research. UK and international students holding a first-class degree (or a good 2:1) in the aforementioned disciplines and a background in fluid mechanics are encouraged to apply. Previous experience with Matlab (or Python) computing is essential for the data analysis and code development; some exposure to experimental work would be beneficial.

If English is not the first language, IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) is required, with no sub-test score less than 6.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Aerodynamic and Environmental Flow PhD programme page on the "Apply" tab. Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.


Aerodynamic and Environmental Flow PhD

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Giovanni Iacobello

Telephone: +44 (0)1483 688916



Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.