Air flow in human airways: validation techniques for modelling studies

Coventry University

Faculty of Engineering, Environment & Computing

Project Description

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship

Understanding flow dynamics in human airways is crucial for multiple applications – e.g. predicting the effect of air pollution on human health, optimising drug delivery, or choosing the ventilation pattern for better oxygen delivery while not damaging the lung tissue.

Measurement of flow properties in vivo is difficult, therefore modelling tools are routinely used to understand and predict flow distribution. Validation of such studies requires robust experimental data.

Advances in the 3D printing technologies allowed researchers to perform measurements in life-size realistic airway geometries reconstructed from medical scans. However, comprehensive experimental studies are still rare, therefore the reliability and accuracy of results is unknown.

This is a collaborative project between Coventry University and Imperial College London. Its aim is to develop an improved methodology for experimental studies of human airway flow, with unsteady flow characteristic to human respiration patterns and a range of geometries in order to isolate and understand the airflow mechanisms in different airway sections and provide validation data for modelling studies. The effect of different flow and geometry properties (turbulence, compliant walls, unsteady flow pattern) will be investigated using a range of flow measurement techniques including hot wire anemometry and particle image velocimetry.

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.

Funding Information

There is funding available for UK/EU students

Eligibility Requirements

  • 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.


  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
  • deep knowledge of Fluid Mechanics is essential
  • experience with flow measurement, coding (e.g. LabView and Matlab) and CAD are desirable

For further details see this link.

Application Process

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Svetlana Aleksandrova

To apply online please visit this link.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus an up to 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

This opportunity will only remain open until a suitable candidate is identified. Early application is therefore strongly recommended.

Supplementary Information

Start date: Sep 2020 or Jan 2021