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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T027061/1
Title: Modelling surface effects in two-phase fluid processes across scales
Principal Investigator: Giustini, Dr G
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Brunel University London Hexxcell Rolls-Royce Plc
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: Imperial College London
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 August 2020 Ends: 31 July 2023 Value (£): 393,842
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Jun 2020 Engineering Fellowship Interview Panel 2 June 2020 Announced
04 Feb 2020 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 4 and 5 February 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
My fellowship aims to develop expertise in the area of boiling and nuclear thermal hydraulics research via the development of novel analytical and computational techniques, the generation of new experimental data and their application to model the behaviour of boiling fluids in industrial systems.

The behaviour of fluids, such as water, used in industrial processes and power generation, is to a large extent governed by the interaction of bubbles and droplets with solid surfaces. These are found in heat exchangers, boilers and condensers and are integral part of the operation of nuclear reactors, which relies on the boiling of water at solid surfaces. Altering the physical and chemical properties of industrial surfaces enables controlling heat and mass transfer in fluid processes such as boiling flows, greatly increasing their potential as coolants. Surface modification could then be used to develop bespoke surfaces to enhance heat transfer in the core and in cooling systems of nuclear reactors. Development of such a technology requires a sound physical understanding of surface effects in fluids through theoretical analysis and numerical modelling. During my fellowship I will develop fundamental modelling techniques to study the surface-dependent behaviour of fluid processes found in nuclear thermal hydraulics applications. The radically new methodologies required to enable this technological inventive step will be developed via collaboration with world leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities found within the Thermofluids, Tribology and Nuclear Engineering Groups of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Imperial College London, enriching the development of computational models of fluid processes with insight from new experiments and simulation at the molecular scale. Collaboration with project partners Rolls-Royce and Hexxcell will ensure direct industrial application of methods and capabilities generated during my fellowship (see the accompanying Project Partner Statements of Support).

In-depth knowledge of the influence of surface effects on nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics is crucial to the operation of the current fleet of water-cooled reactors and is required for the design and safety certification of new' Generation III+' plants planned to be constructed in the UK, as well as for the assessment of future reactor concepts. Some of these, such as the Advanced Modular Reactor, are at the core of scoping studies by the government. The knowledge and capabilities generated by this fellowship will provide the civil service, such as the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), now part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), with a solid scientific foundation for the UK civil nuclear energy policy.

Outside of the nuclear sector, stakeholders will benefit from industrial exploitation of the new, more capable modelling techniques proposed in the course of my fellowship. The work will have wide application to the design of industrial processes that use, for example, boilers, condensers, heat pipes and cooling systems. These are increasingly relying on the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation (CFD) for their design. Developers of CFD software will benefit from the newly developed physical modelling capabilities delivered by my fellowship and will be able to implement the new simulation approaches into their commercial software packages.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.imperial.ac.uk