Cavitation inception and development in interacting vortices

Closing Date

30th June 2020*

Applicants should contact the primary supervisor, and submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) and Application as soon as possible.

*unless filled earlier


This scholarship provides a $27,596pa (2019 rate) living allowance for 3.5 years with no extension, plus a top-up of $8,000pa.

The Research Project

Cavitation is the process of phase change from liquid to vapour due to pressure reduction, as opposed to boiling that occurs with heat addition. It is a highly transient and violent phenomenon that occurs in natural and engineered fluid systems causing problems that range from ocean noise pollution to vibration and metal erosion. Nucleation and inception of hydrodynamic cavitation that occurs in complex turbulent or vortical flows remains a challenging problem relevant to many fields of science and engineering.

In this research project we seek to gain new insights into nucleation mechanisms and the inception and development of cavitation in canonical flows through new experimental capabilities developed in the Cavitation Research Laboratory at the Australian Maritime College. Test flows have been developed in which the microbubble content and hence nucleation sites can be controlled and measured. For this project cavitation inception and development in a pair of two interacting vortices will be investigated through a range of measurements including velocity and microbubble measurements using optical diagnostic techniques simultaneous with other high speed imaging and sensing techniques.

This work is part of a United States Office of Naval Research, Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) ‘Predicting turbulent multi-phase flows with high fidelity: a physics-based approach’. US universities collaborating on the MURI include the University of Minnesota, University of California, California Institute of Technology, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The University of Tasmania will work in close collaboration with the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota, and the Johns Hopkins University providing the experimental outcomes for comparison with computational predictions provided by the US collaborators.


The following eligibility criteria apply to this project:

  • Honours degree or equivalent in mathematics, science or engineering.

Applicants with the following skills will rank highly:

  • Experience in experimental fluid mechanics
  • Advanced data analysis skills
For More Information

Please contact Prof Paul Brandner for more information.