University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


EPSRC DTP studentship - Pollutant dispersal by vehicle wakes

Air pollution is the world's single largest environmental health risk, responsible for over 7 million pre-mature deaths annually. To enable pollution control strategies that mitigate the effects of high-pollution levels we must understand how pollutants are dispersed into the environment. This project will examine the dispersal of pollutants by vehicles, using laboratory experiments to build mathematical models of pollution dispersal that can be incorporated into more complex city-scale models and used to make design decisions about the urban environment.

There are a number of possible research directions, depending on the interests of the student, as pollutant dispersal is influenced by a number of factors, including turbulent stratified mixing between the buoyant pollutant and a stratified ambient; temporal inhomogeneity of emission rates and vehicle motion; and effects associated with particulate pollutants. Of particular interest is the characterisation of non-exhaust sources of pollutants, such as brake-wear, tire-wear and resuspension, as these will become significant contributors to urban pollution levels with the switch to electric vehicles.

Mathematical modelling will use entrainment and energetics considerations to characterise the mixing between pollutant and ambient. The project may also include use of adaptive-mesh large eddy simulations.

Supervisor's website:

Applicants should have, or be expected to gain, a high 2:1, preferably a 1st class honours degree in physics, mathematics, or engineering. A good knowledge or experience of fluid dynamics is an advantage (but it is not essential).

EPSRC DTP studentships are fully-funded (fees and maintenance) for UK students or provide fees only for EU students from outside the UK. Further details about eligibility can be found at:

To apply for this studentship, please send your (i) two-page CV, (ii) transcripts of records, (iii) one-page cover letter, and (iv) the contact details of at least two referees for letters of recommendation to Megan Davies Wykes (

Please note that any offer of funding will be conditional on securing a place as a PhD student. Candidates will need to apply separately for admission through the University's Graduate Admissions application portal; this can be done before or after applying for this funding opportunity. Note that there is a £60 fee for PhD applications. The applicant portal can be accessed via: The final deadline for PhD applications is 30 June 2019, although it is advisable to apply earlier than this.

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