PhD Studentship in Coating/Fouling Hydrodynamics

Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering (NAOME) is delighted to offer a PhD studentship for research on ‘Development of computational and experimental techniques to investigate the effect of marine coatings and biofouling on ship performance’, commencing October 2017. The funding covers UK/EU student tuition fees and stipend in line with University rates for 36 months.
  • Number of scholarships one
  • Value UK/EU Student Tuition Fees and Stipend of £14653 per year
  • Opens 7 March 2017
  • Deadline 15 July 2017
  • Help with Tuition fees, Living costs
  • Duration 3 years


Applicants should have a distinction pass at Master’s level in naval architecture/mechanical engineering or a related subject, or first class BEng/BSc Honours degree, or equivalent, in naval architecture/mechanical engineering or in a related subject. Applicants must be available to commence academic studies in the UK by October 2017.

Some experience of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) (e.g. STAR-CCM+, OpenFOAM) would be an advantage but is not essential. The project requires a mixture of skills, including numerical and experimental fluid dynamics, ship hydrodynamics, computer programing and basic statistics.

Project Details

Hull resistance is of paramount importance to ships since it directly affects their speed, power requirements and fuel consumption. For this reason, reducing a ship’s resistance is a fundamental requirement for naval architects, in order to benefit ship owners. The release of harmful gases due to the use of carbon-based fuel is another reason that shipping companies should aim to reduce the fuel consumption of their ships. Some regulations, such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), and recommended practices such as the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) have been implemented in recent times to limit the quantities of harmful gases that are released into the environment as a result of the fuel consumed by ships.

Due to its negative effects on ship efficiency and the marine environment, it is very desirable to mitigate the accumulation of biofouling on ship hulls. The use of marine antifouling coatings is the most effective and cost economical method to mitigate the growth of biofouling as well as to smooth hull surfaces to reduce the frictional resistance and fuel consumption of a ship.

A major challenge is to relate marine coatings, and the effect of biofouling on coatings, to full-scale ship resistance, in order to evaluate their effects on energy efficiency and hence CO2 emissions. While retrofitting of existing ships with new antifouling paints will improve their energy efficiency, it is equally important to model and predict the potential effects of biofouling on ship resistance and to demonstrate the importance of the mitigation of such effects by performing scientific research. However, at present, no complete method exists to predict the roughness effects of antifouling coatings and biofouling on a ship’s performance.

The main aim of this proposed PhD topic is to fill this gap by developing computational and experimental techniques to investigate the effect of marine coatings and biofouling on ship performance. The candidate is expected to spending time at the Kelvin Hydrodynamics Laboratory to conduct experiments supporting his/her study.

Number of Scholarships


Further Information


Contact us

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact

Dr Yigit Kemal Demirel, e-mail:

How to apply

Applicants should send their application directly to Dr Yigit Kemal Demirel


Applications should include:

-       Cover Letter

-       CV with two references

Degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.