PhD Studentship in Improving swimming performance through detailed flow measurements University of Southampton, Education Hub (Engineering & the Env) United Kingdom

PhD Studentship: Improving swimming performance through detailed flow measurements

Education Hub (Engineering & the Env)

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date: Thursday 31 May 2018

Reference: 987418MM

The sport of swimming presents the engineer with a complex multi-physics challenge where marginal performance gains can make the difference between success and failure. The Performance Sports Engineering laboratory has worked closely with the English Institute of Sport (Research & Innovation) and British Swimming for almost a decade and has contributed to the Olympic successes in London and Rio. The majority of this work has been through focussed PhD programmes examining in detail the flow physics and the resistance and propulsion of a swimmer.


One of the challenges in understanding the fluid flow mechanisms in swimming is the difficulty associated with taking detailed flow measurements. A complex flow field is associated with dynamic free surface interactions, bluff body flow separation, large dynamic motions and soft deformable geometries. Future advances in swimming performance require a detailed understanding of these fluid mechanism. This project aims to develop detailed flow measurement techniques to understand both the resistance and propulsion generated by swimmers. This project will utilise the brand new 138m long towing tank at the University along with a new underwater PIV system.


We are looking for a highly motivated individual, who is prepared to work across disciplines and grow their skills. You should have an active interest in sport, be able to work well within a team environment, be excited about answering fundamental research questions alongside delivering research that has a real impact. We are looking for first class candidates with a background in mechanical engineering, ship science, aerospace, physics or mathematics. You should be confident with fluid dynamics and experimental investigations.


If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Joe Banks, Fluid Structure Interaction research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 6625.


Apply online here:

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