Postdoctoral Position in Fluid Dynamics of Fan Blades in Electric Generators

Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden is offering postdoc position in mechanical engineering. The initial contract for this position is two years and posible to extend. All candidates regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply before March 17, 2019.

The department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2) conducts fundamental and applied research to achieve sustainable technological solutions. M2 holds one of Sweden's most extensive simulator centre for navigation and propulsion of ships, as well as world class laboratories within combustion engineering and wind tunnels. The department also offers and contributes to bachelor and master programs in areas such as Shipping, Automotive and Mechanical Engineering to mention a few. In addition, professional education is performed on both a national and international level, with specific designed mission training for different social actors, within our ambition for a lifelong learning. The department continuously strives to establish a cooperation between academia, industry, and society, with a great focus on utilization. M2 is characterized by an international environment with employees and students from around the world, as well as outstanding research and world class education. M2 consists of seven divisions within the areas of engineering and maritime sciences, and one division of administration and support. The present position is at the division of Fluid Dynamics.

Information about the division of Fluid Dynamics

Our mission is to gain fundamental knowledge about turbulent incompressible and compressible flows through numerical and experimental research, and develop new and improved computational and experimental techniques for the study of such flows in both fundamental and real-world environments. We also aim to assist industrial researchers and engineers in confronting problems involving turbulent and compressible phenomena.

The research at the Division covers turbulent flow (both compressible and incompressible), aero-acoustics and turbomachines. Our tools include both computations and experiments. The research covers a wide range of topics. In some research projects the smallest turbulent scales are studied whereas in others the function of a complete gas turbine is analyzed and modelled.

Our applied research is carried out in close cooperation with industry, both in national projects and in EU projects. Vehicles (cars, trucks, busses and trains), airplanes, gas turbines, water and wind turbines are important applications. The Division of Fluid Dynamics is part of Chalmers Sustainable Transport Initiative, Chalmers eScience Initiative and Chalmers Energy Initiative.

A large part of our teaching activity is carried out within our International Master Program in Applied Mechanics. In this program we offer courses covering a wide range of courses, including turbulence modelling, experimental fluid dynamics, CFD, heat transfer, turbomachinery and gas turbine technology.

Project background

Axial ventilation by use of axial fans was the most common cooling concept for hydropower generators in Sweden during the 50-70's when the main part of the Swedish hydropower plants where built. It is still used for new produced machines especially for high speed machines where the small diameter limits the choice of ventilation concept. Axial fans are also common after renovation of old machines when the rotating parts are reused. The design of the fans which is used in the main part of hydropower generators are made by bended plates which are welded on a fan ring or segments.

The working principle of an axial fan blade is very similar as an airplane wing profile where a high pressure side occurs below the fan blade and a low pressure side occurs above the fan blade. Vortex separations may occur at the low pressure side which under some circumstances can results in vibration problem of the fan blades (stalling). Such effects are most likely more severe under some conditions that will more frequently be passed due to an increase in regulation of the electric grid. Cracks and broken fan blades due to fatigue can be a consequence of the vibration which may cause serious damages of the machine due the fact that the fans are located close to the rotating poles and the stator winding.

In order to prevent this kind of problems a frequency analysis of the fan blades is carried out during the design phase. It is very important that the flow-induced frequencies of the forces acting on the fan blades, due to e.g. vortex separation, do not coincide with the eigenfrequency of the blades. That requires a detailed understanding of the flow around fan blades with designs particularly used in axially cooled hydropower generators.

Both numerical and experimental studies will be conducted in the present project. CFD with highly resolved Large-Eddy Simulation (LES), or possibly Detached Eddy Simulations (DES), turbulence modeling is the most suitable technique for detailed studies of vortex separation and other unsteady behaviour. The numerical results will primarily be validated with experimental results in our linear cascade rig, for which the present post-doc position will design appropriate experiments and analyse the results. The actual measurements will be conducted in close collaboration with our experimental specialists. The possible impact of rotation should be evaluated numerically, and possibly used to design complementary experiments. For the structural analysis employed in the electric generator design stage it is important to determine the time-averaged and unsteady pressure distributions and the frequency distribution over the fan blades. The experimental and numerical results will complement each other in the final analysis of those and other aspects. Fluid-structure-interaction analysis may be employed if it is considered necessary to get accurate results.

Major responsibilities

Be a driving force in planning, designing, performing and analysing both the numerical and experimental studies. The measurements will be done in close collaboration with experimental expertise, but the numerical part of the work will be done entirely by the post-doc.

Your major responsibility as postdoc is to perform your own research in a research group. The position may also include teaching on undergraduate and master’s levels as well as supervising master’s and/or PhD students to a certain extent. Another important aspect involves collaboration within academia and with society at large. The position is meritorious for future research duties within academia as well as industry/the public sector.

The position is full-time temporary employment. It is limited to a maximum of two years, starting with a one-year employment followed by an evaluation and if the work is proceeding sufficiently well the employment will be extended for a second year.


To qualify for the position of postdoc, you must have a doctoral degree in Computational Fluid Dynamics. You are expected to be somewhat accustomed to teaching, and to demonstrate good potential within research and education.

In-depth knowledge and experiences of the underlying methods used in CFD and turbulence modelling. Basic knowledge of measurement techniques, sufficient to be a driving force in the design of experiments, collaborative performance of the measurements, and analysis of the results.

Experiences with LES and/or DES simulations in OpenFOAM. Experiences in programming of CFD codes, and in particular C++ and OpenFOAM. Basic knowledge and experiences with simulations in turbomachinery.

We are looking for a candidate that has a strong numerical (and preferrably experimental) analytic ability and a well-developed problem solving ability. Furthermore the candidate we are looking for has a strong internal motivation and is well self-propelled. Since we work in a multi-cultural environment it is important to be able to communicate and collaborate well with people from different backgrounds.The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20190075 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref.

CV, include complete list of publications

Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref.

1-3 pages where you introduce yourselfand present your qualifications.

Previous research fields and main research results.

Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Application deadline: 17 March 2019

Professor Hkan Nilsson, Fluid Dynamics, 1414

Deadline: March 17, 2019
Apply Link:

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