Safety of Hydrogen & Natural Gas Blends - Research

Ulster University - Belfast

Safety of Hydrogen & Natural Gas Blends - Research

Safe handling of hydrogen and hydrogen natural gas blends requires an understanding of hazards and associated risks arising from leaks. These include (but are not limited to) hazard distances defined by the extent of the flammable cloud, and thermal effects from jet fire. The impact of leak conditions on dispersion must be understood for typical connections. Understanding of the underlying physical phenomena is key as countries move towards a network with hydrogen blends. Work is needed to adjust safety zones to account for hydrogen blends.

The aim of this doctoral study is development of safety engineering tools for hydrogen and hydrogen methane blends. One of key objectives is to expand Ulster theoretical models for unignited and ignited jets to account for methane and hydrogen-methane blends. The effect of buoyancy on the releases should also be accounted for.

The study will focus on a combination of theoretical modelling and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. 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 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 hydrogen methane blends, close knowledge gaps and develop engineering tools. The results of this doctoral research will be aligned to HySAFER’s externally funded projects and reported at international conferences. Publication of results in peer reviewed journals is expected.

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.

Get additional information for International applicants at

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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