Graduate Opportunity

Research Project - Simulation of Ammonia as a Carbon-Free Fuel for Future Internal Combustion Engines


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About us

The Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems Centre for Doctoral Training (AAPS CDT) is part of the Institute of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) at the University of Bath. The Institute works across the University pulling in expertise from all departments to focus on propulsion system research topics and the wider mobility ecosystem.

We are offering graduates a 4-year transdisciplinary research programme, that integrates a one-year MRes training programme with a three to four-year PhD. Giving you a comprehensive training programme and detailed knowledge in your chosen subject area alongside colleagues working across a broad spectrum of challenges facing the industry.

UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Sytems (AAPS)

All about AAPS CDT, based at the University of Bath. Who we are, what we do and why we do it. "A training centre for anyone who wants to make mobility sustainable."

Our unique PhD training programme brings together industry, academia and students to pioneer and shape a new era of clean, sustainable, affordable movement for all.
We have at least 10 fully-funded studentships on offer each September and you can apply to AAPS from 1 November to 30 June each year. 

Join Us

Join us. Together, we will challenge and change the current thinking. Collectively, we will move the mindsets, change the behaviours and open up the possibilities that will help to transform mobility. 

Let's work as one to lead the way towards innovative, clean and CO2 free ways of moving people and products. Let's work smart to design intelligent cities with new forms of vehicles. Let's engineer a future where the world has transport and movement that is impact free. 

Be part of creating a future where our mobility choices positively affect air quality and contribute to the end of climate change.

Research Project: Simulation of Ammonia as a Carbon-Free Fuel for Future Internal Combustion Engines

Ammonia has a high potential for fast decarbonization of marine transport as well as heavy-duty (HD) and off-road vehicles. These sectors are also commonly referred to as “hard-to-electrify” because they present specific challenges and operation boundary conditions that strongly hinder electrification. Moreover, ammonia is a higher volumetric hydrogen content than liquified hydrogen itself, it allows to be stored and transported easily and therefore, represents a very good candidate renewable fuel for future propulsion systems.

For these reasons, the research on ammonia propulsion in combination with internal combustion engines (ICE) for these sectors needs to be pursued with high priority to fulfil the net-zero target for the UK by 2050.

Ammonia’s unusual properties include its gaseous to liquid phase change at elevated pressures, its high ignition temperature and slow laminar flame speed compared to conventional fuels for ICEs. These aspects could present challenges regarding injection, misfire or incomplete fuel combustion which could potentially limit the efficiency and operability of ammonia ICEs.

To effectively use ammonia, deeper scientific understanding on the behaviour of ammonia at engine-relevant conditions must be gained. Based on that, simulation models to reproduce these complex phenomena need to be established to allow the effective and timely development of ammonia ICE and their application.

This project aims to investigate the fundamentals of ammonia injection and combustion behaviour, chemistry, and pollutant formation at engine-relevant conditions. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations will be developed and compared against fundamental experiments and engine measurements to gain an understanding on the underlying physical and chemical phenomena.

Experimental data and CFD-validated models will be used then to develop 0D/1D models of key aspects to enable engine simulation in 1D/0D environment, which will consequently unlock the possibility of optimization of engine concept design and operation.

Entry Requirements


To apply for this programme, you should have a first class or strong second class bachelor’s honours degree or international equivalent.

You should be a highly ambitious individual who is interested in conducting a PhD whilst simultaneously developing transdisciplinary team-working skills and engaging with industrial partners.

English Proficiency

  • If English is not your first language, the requirements for this programme are
  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components.
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components
  • If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.

Funding & Eligibility

Our integrated programme lasts four to five years (full time). We have around 15 fully funded 4-year studentships available each year. You may also receive funding from one of our external partnership organisations. 

Your studentship covers:

  • University fees
  • Payment of a tax-free maintenance stipend (£17,668 pa—2022/23 rate)
  • training support fund (£1,000/year)
  • AAPS training activities
  • office space and computing facilities

You can apply for more funding to support your placement and any national and international academic exchanges once you have registered.

Students with Home Fee Status

We have at least 10 fully funded 4 year studentships for students eligible for home fees each year.

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Opportunity Overview

  • Deadline: June 30th, 2023
  • Starting Salary: Payment of a tax-free maintenance stipend - £17,668 pa + training support fund (£1,000/year) + benefits
  • 2:1 and above
  • Bath
    (Show map)

Preferred Disciplines...

  • Automotive
  • Chemical
  • Chemistry
  • Energy/Renewables
  • Mechanical
  • Mechatronics
  • Physics

Also Accepting...
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