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The non-linear states of convection in the Earth core

Eligibility: UK/EU/International students with the required entry requirements

Award Details: Bursary plus tuition fees - UK/EU

Duration: Full Time - between 3 years and 3 years 6 months fixed term

Application deadline:

  • Overseas: 15 November 2018
  • UK/ EU: 10 December 2018

Start date: January 2019

Interview dates: TBC

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Professor Alban Pothérat to discuss this opportunity.

Introduction

Coventry University has been voted ‘Modern University of the Year’ three times running by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide. Ranked in the UK’s top 15 (Guardian University Guide), we have a global reputation for high quality teaching and research with impact. Almost two-thirds (61%) of our research was judged ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. By joining the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing (EEC), you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with some of the biggest names in industry, including Jaguar Land Rover, GE Aviation, Cummins and Intel.

By joining the University’s Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing (EEC), you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with some of the biggest names in industry, including Jaguar Land Rover, GE Aviation, Cummins and Intel.

The Project

The project concerns convection under a magnetic field in the so called “tangent cylinder” region of the Earth's core. Much of the mystery surrounding the Earth's dynamics (its magnetic field, plate tecnonics) lies in the nature of the convective patterns within the Earth's liquid core, and in particular in the region called the “Tangent Cylinder”. What are the possible convective states under the combined influence of the Earth's rotation and magnetic field, and how erratic are they? This thesis is part of a theoretical and experimental research program funded by the prestigious Levehulme Trust (http://www.leverhulme.ac.uk) that aims at answering these questions. The purpose of this thesis is to theoretically predict all possible nonlinear convective states for the first time. We will then evaluate which of these states are mostly likely to underpin the Earth's core convection.

The student will conduct the theoretical and numerical analysis of the problem under the joint supervision of Prof. Alban Pothérat (http://users.complexity-coventry.org/~potherat/index.html) and Dr Chris Pringle.  The study will seek the possible structure of convection by means of advanced stability theory and branch tracking method, to unveil the possible states. In the frame of the research program, the PhD work will be conducted in collaboration with an experimental study that will seek to reproduce and visualise these non-linear states in an experimental model of the Earth Core.

Funding

  • Eligibility: UK/EU/International
  • Award Details: £15,000 Bursary plus UK/EU tuition fees

Benefits

  • The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
  • All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry Requirements

Successful applicants will have:
  • a taught Masters degree in the required disciplines indicated, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark, plus
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

Additionally:

  • Successful candidates are expected to hold or be on course for an MSc or equivalent, with a grade of 60% or above, in fluid mechanics or a related discipline (Physics/ Mathematics), and to have demonstrated excellent abilities in mathematics and programming.

Eligibility & Application Procedure

Eligibility:

Eligibility criteria can be found on the making an application page.