Magnetohydrodynamic Turbulence In Extreme Conditions

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

Award Details: Fully-funded studentship available (up to £15,000 stipend and fee waiver)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: Monday 21st January 2019 by 4pm

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates 

Start date: May 2019

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

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.

The Project

A Research opportunity under a Co-tutelle Arrangement with Grenoble University and Coventry University

This PhD is under the joint supervision of Professor Alban Pothérat, (LnCMI Lab/CNRS  and Coventry University) (, Laurent Davoust (Grenoble-INP, SIMAP Lab) and François Debray (LnCMI/CNRS)

Applications are invited for a PhD in experimental fluid mechanics at the LNCMI-G (Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory, The topic concerns the experimental study of turbulence in liquid metals in a very high magnetic field. Turbulence is one of the major challenges of classical physics. Here, we seek to understand the role played by the propagation of waves in the statistical and dissipative properties of turbulence and in its transition between two- and three-dimensional states. This research is of crucial importance for several issues pertaining  to future nuclear energy and geophysics:

-      optimizing the quantity of heat extracted for the forthcoming nuclear fusion reactors (ITER),

-      controlling flow of heat-carrying fluid in generation 4 nuclear fission reactors,

-      elucidating of the Dynamo effect that sustains the Earth magnetic field,

-      understanding the dynamics of oceans and atmospheres.

The PhD student will be conducting an experimental project during which a turbulent flow is generated within a cell filled with liquid metal and placed inside of one the large magnets available at LNCMI in Grenoble, which are capable of producing some of the strongest magnetic fields in the world. The magnetic field tends to force the flow towards a 2D state, and so enables us to control the transition between 2D and 3D states. In the extreme fields available at LNCMI, the electromagnetic force becomes propagative on the top being diffusive (propagation of Alfvén waves). The goal of this PhD is to use this unique combination of features to reproduce in the laboratory some of the mechanisms that occur in atmospheric, planetary systems and in the context of nuclear energy production, so as to understand them in detail.

The flow will be diagnosed by means of advanced metrology techniques such as ultrasound velocimetry and electric potential mapping. The PhD student will be in charge of running and improving the experimental facility, interpreting the results so as to better understand the observed flow regimes.


Fully-funded studentship available (up to £15,000 stipend and fee waiver)


  • Our research strategy is underpinned by a £250m investment in research and facilities
  • Dedicated Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability Development deliver high quality professional support for researchers, from PhD to Professor
  • Free training: research career planning, managing your doctorate, research communication skills, research ethics, research impact, research integrity, research methods and research supervision
  • Coventry is a member of the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA), the largest multi-partner and only nationwide doctoral training initiative of its kind.

Entry Requirements

Succesful candidates will require:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with  a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at minimum merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at minimum merit level (60%).


  • 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)


  • Applicants are required to hold, or be on course for a Masters in Fluid Mechanics or related speciality (Mathematics or Physics).


Eligibility and How to Apply


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.

To apply, and for initial discussions, please firstly forward complete academic records and CV to:

Informal contacts by phone or email are recommended.

Formal applications with full supporting documentation and covering letter only must be submitted via the on line application system