Modelling the heat transfer of molten metal during the steel making process

Key Information


TATA Steel UK Ltd is currently undergoing a huge transformation and is looking to the future with its Steel products.   Steel is a 21st Century industry with research that is at the scientific and industrial forefront.  A research project with TATA Steel UK and Swansea University will give the correct student the opportunity to be heavily involved with industry whilst performing high level academic research in the Swansea Bay Campus facilities.  The candidate will be working with multidisciplinary teams, heading up their own research project and gaining invaluable experience at the industrial academic interface.

In large scale steel manufacturing it is unfeasible to change operating procedures without being able to simulate the outcome beforehand. During the steel making process, molten metal is transported to the continuous caster via large refractory lined steel ladles. Heat transfer and fluid modelling would allow for a deeper understanding of the effects of heat generated from the molten metal to the surrounding areas. The knowledge gained from this piece of work can then be further applied to the other elements of the casting process. During formation of molten metal into slabs the continuous caster requires an in-depth knowledge of how the slab solidify to ensure the integrity of the slabs being produced. This allows more efficient processing speeds and optimised water cooling which will improve the processing time. The aim of the project would be to have a fully working simulation for the heat transfer of molten metal in various situations during the steel making process.


Project aims

Findings from the simulation data will bench mark the predictable transition of heat throughout the ConCast environment and will allow the development of scenario-based models to consider various plant scenarios. Outcomes from these types of simulations will be used to determine the direction of heat flows and to offset catastrophic destruction of critical plant and equipment. Further simulations can then be applied to other areas of the steel making process.


Suitable candidate

Background in Engineering/Maths/Physics with an interest in computational modelling



Acadmic: Dr Nick Lavery (Primary) and Prof Stephen Brown

Industrial: Chris Francis

Sponsoring Company Tata Steel

Candidates should have a background in Engineering/Maths/Physics with an interest in computational modelling, and hold an appropriate degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. This project would be suitable for someone with a degree in chemistry, physics, or materials engineering.

Our funders require applicants to also meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be a UK or EU citizen (i.e. eligible for ‘home’ tuition fees at the University) and have the right to work in Wales at the end of your studies.
  • You must be resident in West Wales and the Valleys at the point of enrolment and throughout the duration of your studies.
  • You must not be financially able to participate without the award of grant funding.

Further information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at: http://www.materials-academy.co.uk/eligibility


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

Closing Date 3 August 2018

Start Date September 2018

Apply Now

Informal enquiries about this studentship are welcome and may be directed by email to: M2A@swansea.ac.uk