Research Fellow in Experimental Fluid Mechanics on Magnetoconvection in the Earth Liquid Core Funded by The Leverhulme Trust

Full-time, Fixed Term until 31st December 2021
Closing Date: 13 March 2020
Under the supervision of Professor Alban Pothérat, (, Executive Director of the Centre for Fluid and Complex Systems Research, Coventry University, UK.

Applications are invited for the position of Research Associate in Experimental Fluid Mechanics sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust ( The project concerns convection in magnetic fields in the so called “Tangent Cylinder” region of the Earth’s core. Much of the mystery surrounding the Earth’s dynamics (its magnetic field, plate tectonics) lies in the nature of the convective patterns within the Earth’s liquid core, and in particular in the region called the “Tangent Cylinder”. What are the possible convective states under the combined influence of the Earth’s rotation and magnetic field, and how erratic are they? This project is part of a theoretical and experimental research program funded by the Trust that aims at answering these questions. The purpose of the experimental part of the programme is to explore the nonlinear convective states that may exist within a laboratory based ‘Tangent Cylinder’ when suitable perturbations are applied to the flow. These states will then be evaluated to see which are mostly likely to underpin the Earth’s core convection.

The project involves operating a novel experiment previously developed in our group to visualise rotating magnetoconvective patterns. Its principle is to use a weakly conductive, but transparent electrolyte, subjected to the very high magnetic fields available at the Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory (France). Part of the experimental work will consist of upgrading the technique first developed in this experiment that makes it possible to visualise flow patterns in electrically conductive fluids by means of bespoke Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) methods.

The successful candidate should hold a PhD or equivalent in Fluid Mechanics, Geophysics, or Physics with a proven track record of producing scientific output at the highest level, as evidenced by high-quality journal publications. The Research Associate will work within the vibrant environment of the Fluid Dynamics group, part of the Fluid and Complex Systems Research Centre, at Coventry University. The group conducts both fundamental and applied research in the fields of stability, magnetohydrodynamics, turbulence and geophysical fluid dynamics as well as other areas of fluid mechanics. In the REF2014, 84% of the group’s output, as part of the mathematics submission, was deemed ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’. The project involves extended stays at the Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory, France where the experiment will be operated.

The post is fixed term until 31st December 2021. To apply please also include your CV with a publication list. For further information please contact Professor Alban Pothérat (Coventry University,, +44(0)2477 65 88 65).

Closing Date: 13 March 2020

Apply online

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