Safety of Compressed Hydrogen Storage Systems for Maritime Applications - Research

Ulster University - Belfast

Safety of Compressed Hydrogen Storage Systems for Maritime Applications - Research

Early rollout of maritime hydrogen-fuelled transport is taking place in the form of relatively small-scale applications and demonstration projects – service vessels, pilot boats, short-range costal ferries, etc., where hydrogen is expected to be stored in composite high-pressure tanks with nominal working pressure NWP=350-700 bar. The proposed PhD research will be executed at HySAFER Centre of Ulster University alongside of related projects with industry.

The aim of this doctoral study is the development of safety engineering solutions for compressed hydrogen storage systems (CHSS) in maritime applications. The objectives of the project are:

Perform a comprehensive review of regulatory framework, hydrogen storage solutions and research publications in the context of maritime applications, propose detailed hazards analysis, ranked list of incident scenarios and quantify the pressure and thermal hazards associated with CHSS.

Formulate modelling strategies for identified hazards.

Develop and validate comprehensive model(s) for simulation of incident scenarios onboard a vessel.

Simulate selected incident scenarios.

Suggest safety strategy and feasible engineering solutions;

Disseminate the obtained results using appropriate channels - peer-reviewed publications, presentations and professional and scientific gatherings, stakeholders meetings, etc.

The successful PhD candidate will work in a close cooperation with the project team on modelling and simulation of hydrogen storage behaviour under design and off-design conditions and in realistic incident scenarios, where hydrogen tank rupture is considered as the worst case scenario. Modelling thermal and pressure hazards in the considered scenarios is of particular importance to steer development of novel mitigation strategies and solutions to underpin the development of the IGF Code. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Elements Modelling (FEM) are anticipated to be the research tools. Coupling of these contemporary methods could be applied for modelling structural response of vessel design to thermal and pressure effects following hydrogen storage incidents.

Ulster University has an extensive track record of using ANSYS Fluent as a CFD engine for development of CFD models and their use for hydrogen safety engineering. The candidate will have an opportunity to run numerical simulations using the fleet of powerful workstations available at HySAFER Centre and Northern Ireland High-Performance Computing (NI-HPC) Kelvin-2 facility (

The proposed PhD project is expected to develop leading edge numerical models for analysis of hazards related to CHSS, close knowledge gaps and formulate novel safety strategies and engineering solutions to prevent/mitigate incidents with hydrogen storage onboard of maritime vessels. The results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journal publications and feed further development of maritime safety regulation.

Entry requirements

Essential criteria
Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master's Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

- Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology.

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English language requirements
In order to be admitted to research study at Ulster, you will need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency as part of your application.

Get full details on the requirements for both home and overseas applicants can be found on our English language requirements page.

Application dates

How to Apply
We are delighted that you are considering Ulster University for your research studies.

Get full details on the application process and further guidance on how to apply, and what you will need to upload as part of your application (see "Application Date Weblink" below).

Once you have identified supervisors, discussed a research proposal and are ready to make an application, please apply using the online application system (see "Application Weblink").

Ulster University welcomes applications from all sections of the community and from persons with disabilities. It is University policy to assess all applications using academic criteria and on the basis of equality of opportunity and you should be assured that reasonable adjustments will be made should you require them.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Doctoral at UK Level 8

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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