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Job Record #19071
TitlePhD candidate on liquid metal MHD for fusion reactors
CategoryPhD Studentship
EmployerSapienza University of Rome & UK Atomic Energy Authority
LocationItaly, Lazio, ROMA
InternationalYes, international applications are welcome
Closure DateFriday, May 31, 2024
Title: Numerical investigation of MHD systems coupling the induction formulation 
with thermal models

The department of Astronautical, Electrical and Energy Engineering at the 
Sapienza University of Rome is inviting applications for the following fully 
funded PhD project/studentship, expected to commence November 2024.

This position is part of a project jointly carried on by Sapienza University of 
Rome and the UK Atomic Energy Authority, with the Sapienza University being the 
host institution.

About the Project

Liquid metals are attractive working fluids for breeding blankets in nuclear 
fusion applications due to their excellent thermal properties and the 
possibility to combine in a single fluid the tasks of coolant, tritium breeder 
and carrier. Intense and spatially varying heat loads and the interaction of the 
electrically conductive fluid with the imposed magnetic field give rise to 
interesting natural and mixed convection phenomena that directly affect the 
component performance. Owing to the difficulty of performing integral effect 
experiments in fusion-relevant conditions, the role of numerical analysis is 
prominent in guiding the breeding blanket design. The current project will 
investigate natural and mixed convection in the presence of strong magnetic 
fields (magnetoconvection) in geometries and parameter spaces that are relevant 
for breeding blankets intended both for near-term deployment in technological 
demonstrators (DEMO) and 1st generation fusion power plants. In particular, the 
PhD candidate will develop a numerical code able to simulate these phenomena 
using open-source CFD toolboxes and will investigate the relevancy of non-
Oberbeck-Boussinesq effects for prototypical blanket configurations. The main 
goal is to advance the state-of-the-art of numerical modelling of 
magnetoconvection in liquid metals and, thus, contribute to the development of 
breeder blanket technology.


·       Contribute to a consistent theoretical framework for the scaling of 
magnetoconvective phenomena

·       Development of a CFD tool able to simulate magnetoconvection in an 
incompressible and electrically conductive fluid with and without the Oberbeck-
Boussinesq approximation

·       Performing numerical experiments in idealized configurations to assess 
robustness, scalability and accuracy of the developed code

·       Investigating through numerical modelling magnetoconvective phenomena in 
nuclear fusion-relevant conditions and configurations: natural convection flow 
in the presence of cooled obstacles, mixed convection downward flow, etc.


·       Master’s degree in nuclear and energy engineering, mechanical 
engineering, physics, or applied mathematics

·       Knowledge of numerical methods suitable for Computational Fluid Dynamics 
(CFD) and/or experience in the use of CFD tools

·       Knowledge of C++ , Python or other object-oriented programming languages

Funding Notes

A tax-free stipend of approximately 16,293€ p.a. and tuition fees for 3 years 
are covered by UKAEA and Sapienza University.

Enquiries & Contact

For further information on this position, interested applicants are encouraged 
to contact Dr. Alessandro Tassone (Sapienza University of Rome, 
alessandro.tassone(at) or Dr. Gerasimos Politis (UKAEA, 

Applications Process

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, please provide:

·       Motivation letter

·       Curriculum Vitae

·       Any certificates or degree related to the requirements for this position

If selected, this screening process will be followed by an invitation to an 
interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due 
time, together with any instructions on how to clear the formal steps to earn 
the PhD scholarship.


The deadline for submitting applications is May 31st 2024.

As the UK’s national fusion lab, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) - - has a 
mission, to lead the commercial development of fusion power and related 
technology,and to position the UK as a leader in sustainable fusion energy. 
UKAEA has until recently operated the JET tokamak on behalf of European partners 
and is now starting to decommission the device. UKAEA also operates the UK’s own 
MAST Upgrade fusion experiment and leads the STEP (Spherical Tokamak fo r Energy 
Production) programme, which aims to design and build a demonstration fusion 
powerplant by the early 2040s. In addition, UKAEA has a thriving technology 
programme, working with UK and international partners on issues key for 
realising fusion power e.g. robotics and remote handling; materials modelling 
and testing and tritium technology and fuel breeding.

Sapienza University of Rome

·       Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Department of 
Astronautical, Electrical and Energy Engineering,

·       PhD program in Energy and Environment,

At Sapienza University of Rome, the PhD program in Energy and Environment stands 
as a testament to our dedication to tackling the pressing issues of our time. 
Through rigorous research and interdisciplinary collaboration, scholars delve 
into critical topics ranging from renewable and nuclear energy technologies to 
climate change mitigation. By nurturing a cohort of forward-thinking researchers 
and practitioners, the program equips individuals with the skills and insights 
needed to address the multifaceted challenges of energy and environmental 
sustainability. With a focus on innovation and real-world application, graduates 
emerge prepared to make meaningful contributions to the global effort towards a 
more sustainable future. 
Contact Information:
Please mention the CFD Jobs Database, record #19071 when responding to this ad.
NameAlessandro Tassone
Email ApplicationYes
Record Data:
Last Modified16:12:42, Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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