Mathematical and numerical modelling of flexible piezoeletric membranes for ocean energy PhD

Mathematical Sciences
Entry requirements:
2:1 +
Reference number:
Start date:
01 January 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
01 December 2017



of research classed as 'internationally recognised'

REF 2014


in the UK for Mathematics

The Complete University Guide 2018


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

This project is to develop a numerical simulator of an electromechanical wave energy converter.

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change estimate that wave and tidal stream energy has the potential to meet up to 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand. Piezoelectric converters able to extract energy from the motion of the ocean have been proposed by our research group as an ingenious solution to harness such potential.

The Department of Mathematical Sciences at Loughborough University have recently developed the first coupled mathematical model available in the literature to reproduce the behaviour of the converter and predict its power output. Now, the model results need to be validated with experimental and numerical methods.

The successful applicant will develop novel computational fluid dynamics models to solve the system of coupled partial differential equations that describe the motion of an incompressible fluid (water) and the displacement and electric charge of the piezoelectric structure. The successful applicant will work closely with an existing PhD student, who is currently optimising the mathematical model.

The project is in collaboration with the world leading Science and Enterprise park at Loughborough University. As such, this project offers an excellent opportunity to develop computational models with a strong impact on the world outside academia.


Primary supervisor: Dr Emiliano Renzi

Secondary supervisor: Dr Marco Discacciati

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Emiliano Renzi or register your interest and ask us a question. Additional information can be found at

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mathematics or Engineering (Electrical/Civil/Mechanical).

A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage:

  • Fluid mechanics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Optimisation

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Mathematical Sciences. Please quote reference number: MA/ER-1/2017