Department of Engineering / News / Dante McGrath recognised at prestigious PhD competition

Department of Engineering

Dante McGrath recognised at prestigious PhD competition

Dante McGrath recognised at prestigious PhD competition

Dante McGrath with the experimental setup used throughout his PhD at the Hopkinson Laboratory to examine droplet-laden laminar flames.

Dante McGrath, a final-year Engineering PhD student, has been awarded second prize at a prestigious PhD competition in celebration of his research in the field of fluid mechanics.

The better we understand how sprays burn, using numerical models and validation experiments, the better equipped we are to design combustion systems that are clean and efficient.

Dante McGrath

The 2022 Osborne Reynolds Day Competition saw Dante deliver a presentation on the effect of fuel droplets on laminar flame propagation. 

Organised by the University of Manchester and the UK Pilot Centre for the European Research Community On Flow, Turbulence and Combustion (ERCOFTAC), the competition celebrates the quality of students and graduates who have been pursuing doctoral level research across the broad domain of fluid mechanics, including turbulence; multi‐phase, stratified and free‐surface flows; convective transport processes; combustion and acoustics.

Dante has been examining the physics and chemistry of fuel sprays typical of practical combustion systems, such as gas turbine engines and industrial furnaces. His research contributes an experimental dataset that characterises droplet-laden flame propagation, benefitting the validation of models predicting the performance of spray combustion systems.

“The better we understand how sprays burn, using numerical models and validation experiments, the better equipped we are to design combustion systems that are clean and efficient,” he said. “With society likely to rely on combustion in the near future, scientists and engineers have a responsibility to tackle this grand challenge.

“I am grateful to the judging panel for this prize and to the organisers of the Osborne Reynolds Day programme. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of presenting my research amongst my peers.

“I wish to give special thanks to my supervisor Professor Simone Hochgreb and Dr Luming Fan, both of whom were instrumental to my development as an early-career researcher.”

With the prize, Dante has been nominated to represent the UK at the 17th da Vinci Competition, to be hosted by ERCOFTAC later this year. He will also present at the 39th International Symposium on Combustion, the world's largest meeting on combustion science.

He added: “The pandemic deprived many students of the physical platform to communicate their research. At the tail end of my PhD journey, I consider it a privilege to present in front of fellow fluids researchers, both in the UK and abroad.”

Dante is currently a postdoctoral research assistant in experimental hypersonics at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute (University of Oxford).

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