Research Studentship in Drops and jets: fundamental science and applications

Supervisor: Professor Alfonso A. Castrejon-Pita

3.5-year D.Phil. studentship

The research will fall within the general area of drops and their applications. This covers a wide range of topics, from drop generation, drop splashing, jet breakup, drop deposition, coalescence and impact, drop interaction with complex substrates, and related topics. The group’s research spans from the fundamental fluid dynamics/physics of drops to the novel use of drops for a variety of applications.

Potential projects are as follow:

  1. The study the hydrodynamics of self-stimulated and externally stimulated liquid jets for the generation of drops and encapsulation of particles. This includes understanding of non-linear effects during liquid jet breakup, control and suppression of undesirable ‘satellite’ drops (for inkjet applications).
  2. Novel application of droplet-based techniques the development of bioprinted materials or soft photonic technologies. This could include developing novel ways of generating drops for instance by the use of acoustic, hydrodynamic or electrohydrodynamic fields or other hybrid methods.
  3. Fundamental dynamics of droplets such as breakup, coalescence, evaporation and the development of novel experimental techniques to extract quantitative information in these contexts.

In order to fully understand the fundamental processes underlying these processes, the dynamics need to be explored within the temporal (nano- to micro- seconds) and spatial (micro-/milli- metres) scales at which these events occur. This requires the development of high speed visualisation rigs and the use of high resolution numerical simulation tools, CFD (such as Gerris/Basilisk/Lattice Boltzmann) and corresponding theoretical models. There is the possibility of developing at least one of these topics towards specific applications (particle separation, inkjet control, etc).

The student will be a member of the Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and will be supervised by Professor Alfonso A. Castrejon-Pita. The group maintains strong collaborations with colleagues all around the world. For this project, a strong interaction with academic partners based at the Mathematical Institute in Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, the University of Seville, and UPMC/Sorbonne Paris are envisaged, together with the possibility of short to medium-term visits to such group.

We are inviting candidates with excellent academic record, highly motivated and with excellent communication skills in English to apply. 


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership and is open to both UK students (full award – fees plus stipend) and EU students (partial award – fees only). Full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements can be found here.

Award Value

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students, as are Oxford college fees (c. £7,432 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £14,553 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two and a half years.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree/undergraduate in Physics, Applied Mathematics or Engineering
  • Strong academic background in fluid dynamics
  • Experience with experimental/computational/theoretical fluid dynamics
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following criteria are desirable but not essential:

  • Experience in Labview or Matlab
  • Knowledge of the physics of drops, surface tension, free surface flows or microfluidics

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Alfonso A. Castrejon-Pita.

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria. Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote ENGTH_ACP in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline

Noon on 1 March 2019

Start date

October 2019