Microbubble generation from cavitation

Microbubble generation from cavitation at different spatio-temporal scales

Degree type


Closing date

1 February 2024



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

Microbubble generation and measurement are fundamental to hydrodynamic cavitation. These are required to model nucleation and inception, to develop new measurement techniques and experiments, and to gain new insights into multiphase flows including mass transfer by phase change and diffusion processes. This PhD project will consider microbubble generation at a large range of spatio-temporal scales, and incorporate new experiments and techniques to investigate the physics of microbubble production.

Two experiments have been developed in the Cavitation Research Laboratory (CRL) for this purpose. The first, is a bench experiment involving the generation of cavitation at micron-scales within a radial Hele-Shaw cell. Cavitation is induced at the entrance to a radial diffuser through rapid depressurisation of supersaturated water. Dissolved gases within the over-saturated liquid are transported into the vapour cavity by diffusion. As the flow diffuses the vapour cavity condenses and microbubbles of incondensable gas are produced whose size are controlled by the length and time scales of the turbulence generated. Imaging techniques involving high-speed photography and pulsed laser illumination at rates up to 5 MHz will be used to investigate this flow.

The second experiment will be carried out at much larger length and time scales compared with the first, and are to be performed in the CRL variable pressure water tunnel. Similar process occur at such macroscopic scales although the role of the interfacial and turbulence effects are significantly different and consequently result in different microbubble populations. Classical sheet cavitation about a hydrofoil will be used to generate turbulent wakes laden with microbubbles. The influence of Reynolds number, cavitation number and dissolved gas concentration on generated microbubble populations will be investigated. In the past such experiments have been limited by imaging techniques. For these experiments new shadowgraph and holographic techniques will be used compatible with the microbubble size and concentration rages involved.

The knowledge gained in this research will provide new insights into cavitation nucleation and inception and multiphase flows around naval platforms from micro to macro scales.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Prof Paul Brandner


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $32,192 per annum (2024 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.

Other funding opportunities and fees

For further information regarding other scholarships on offer, and the various fees of undertaking a research degree, please visit our Scholarships and fees on research degrees page.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Ensure your eligibility for the scholarship round by referring to our Key Dates.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Domestic applicants only
  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Additional essential selection criteria specific to this project:

  • Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in relevant discipline (Engineering, Science, etc.) or equivalent

Application process

  1. Select your project, and check that you meet the eligibility and selection criteria, including citizenship;
  2. Contact Prof Paul Brandner to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. In your application:
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • Submit a signed supervisory support form, a CV including contact details of 2 referees and your project research proposal.
  4. Apply prior to 1 February 2024.

Full details of the application process can be found under the 'How to apply' section of the Research Degrees website.

Following the closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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