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Job ID: 167777

PhD positions in Fluid and/or Plasma Dynamics
University of Rochester

Date Posted Sep. 21, 2021
Title PhD positions in Fluid and/or Plasma Dynamics
University University of Rochester
Rochester, NY, United States
Department Mechanical Engineering
Application Deadline Jan. 15, 2022
Position Start Date Fall 2022
  • Graduate Student
  • Ocean Engineering
    Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering
    Engineering Physics

We are seeking highly motivated PhD students to join our group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester (UofR). More information can be found at

The positions are interdisciplinary and can involve research in several areas, including fluid dynamics, plasma physics, turbulence, nonlinear multi-scale science, hydrodynamic instabilities. Research can include any combination of theory, simulations, and/or experiments. We are especially seeking applicants with interest in analyzing and understanding (i) oceanic flows or (ii) flows in fusion plasmas and astrophysical systems. We are keenly interested in increasing the diversity of our group and encourage applications from women and members of historically underrepresented groups.

Oceanic flow is characterized by large-scale currents, eddies, and waves, all of which play a prime role in the general circulation and climate. The coupling between scales ranging from O(10^4) km down to the O(1) mm scale presents a major difficulty in understanding, modeling, and predicting oceanic circulation and climate. The project relies on novel multiscale analysis techniques we have been developing to map out the oceanic energy pathways over the entire globe, for the first time. The main objective is to study several distinct pathways that couple the mesoscales and sub-mesoscales to the larger-scale general circulation and to the atmosphere from an integrated analysis of satellite and model data. The project is a collaboration among Hussein Aluie (UofR), Ben Storer (UofR), Stephen Griffies (Princeton/GFDL), Alistair Adcroft (Princeton/GFDL), Michele Buzzicotti (U. Rome, Italy), Mat Maltrud (LANL), and Matthew Hecht (LANL).

Plasma flows are fundamental for understanding solar wind, astrophysical systems such as stars, nebulae and galaxies, and nuclear fusion such as in experiments performed at UofR’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). These plasma flows are subject to hydrodynamic instabilities which are a primary obstacle to realizing nuclear fusion as a controlled energy source. Example topics of interest are the Rayleigh-Taylor and Magnetothermal instabilities developing in laser-driven plasmas in which electromagnetic fields play a central role. The student is expected to interact with the theory and experimental groups at the LLE where fusion research is conducted. The research has other important applications, including in combustion, astrophysics, and geophysics. This is a collaboration among Drs. Fernando Garcia-Rubio, Riccardo Betti, Hussein Aluie, and other scientists at the LLE/UofR working in this area.

About Rochester:
Founded in 1850, UofR is a highly competitive private research university which enrolls approximately 6,000 undergraduate and 3,500 graduate students. It has historical links to pivotal US social movements, including women’s suffrage (Susan B. Anthony) and abolitionism (Frederick Douglass).

Fluids and Plasma research at UofR has a well-established collaborative group involving several faculty and a large number of students and postdocs. Recently, we have been awarded ~$13 million to establish and host a multi-institution NSF Physics Frontier Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures (CMAP). Successful candidates would join a large group with diverse backgrounds and interests, including active collaborators at MIT, Princeton, UC Berkeley and UC Davis, U. Buffalo, and Livermore National Lab. Our department offers a friendly and stimulating research environment, and enjoys strong ties to a leading DOE fusion research facility, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, which is adjacent to campus, and to the medical school, one of the top in the US.

The city of Rochester is a thriving and affordable, low-stress, medium sized metropolis (metro area population ~1 million) with excellent public services and amenities. It enjoys a vibrant performing arts culture thanks in-part to UofR’s Eastman School of Music, often ranked as the top music school in the US, and several small colleges that focus on the arts. For outdoors enthusiasts, there are many well-maintained parks that offer sanctuaries within the city and many gorgeous state parks that are less than a 1 hour drive. Many of the beaches along lake Ontario are within 15-30 minutes from the city, and the Adirondack mountains are within a 3 hour drive.

We welcome applications from candidates with a background in engineering, physics, applied math, or related disciplines. We are keenly interested in increasing the diversity of our group and encourage applications from women and members of historically underrepresented groups.

Potential candidates are encouraged to contact Hussein Aluie (hussein**At* with inquiries and to express their interest in the position. Please attach a CV.

  • The University of Rochester provides equal opportunity in admissions and student aid regardless of sex, age, race, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, and national or ethnic origin. Furthermore, the University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Hussein Aluie
    Mechanical Engineering
    University of Rochester
    Rochester, NY 14627


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