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Research project title

Numerical modeling of cavitation near solid objects

Education level



Director: Fabian Denner

End of display

December 31, 2024

Areas of expertise

Solid mechanics

Modelling, simulation and finite element methods

Numerical analysis

Fluid mechanics

Modelling, simulation

Multi-phase systems


Primary sphere of excellence in research

Modeling and Artificial Intelligence

Unit(s) and department(s)

Department of Mechanical Engineering


The successful candidates have:

  • A university degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, or a related discipline.
  • A solid background in fluid and solid dynamics, thermodynamics and numerical modeling.
  • A proactive, team-oriented and curiosity-driven work attitude.
  • Programming experience, preferably in C/C++, related to numerical modeling.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • French skills are a benefit.

The successful candidates will commence their studies in the winter trimester 2025 (January 2025) or the summer trimester 2025 (May 2025).

Detailed description

Cavitation-assisted or cavitation-driven applications are rapidly emerging in a wide range of industrial sectors, from chemical and power engineering to materials science and medicine. These applications leverage the strong energy focusing driven by cavitation, e.g. temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun, to bring about a desired physical effect. Close to an object, a cavitation bubble collapses asymmetrically and is pierced by a fast liquid jet, called jetting cavitation, which can reach well over 100 m/s and generate exceptionally large shear stresses upon impact on a solid surface. Using lasers or focused ultrasound, this jetting cavitation can be applied with micrometer precision and, thus, facilitate new technologies, such as the precision peening of metals or the piercing of biological membranes for targeted drug delivery. However, jetting cavitation may, for example, also cause traumatic brain injury and erode surfaces. Despite significant progress in understanding cavitation, harnessing the strong energy focusing produced by jetting cavitation for engineering applications remains challenging.

I'm looking for PhD students to join me in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal to study the dynamics of cavitation bubbles in the vicinity of solid objects, and to use and develop state-of-the-art numerical modeling tools. This project builds directly on our recent discovery that jetting cavitation dynamics can be manipulated by applying an ambient flow around the bubble [LINK]. As part of this project, we will be working closely with our collaborators in Canada and abroad. The long-term aim of this project is to enable the precise and controllable application of jetting cavitation in emerging technologies. To this end, the PhD students will:

  • Develop new finite-volume methods for predicting the complex fluid-structure interactions between cavitation-driven flows and nearby solids.
  • Develop computational tools for processing, identifying and classifying acoustic signals originating from cavitation, leveraging modern signal processing and machine learning techniques.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of cavitation bubble dynamics in the vicinity of solid objects, using high-performance computing systems.
  • Analyze and quantify the pressure and shear exerted on the surface during liquid jet impact, as well as the acoustic emissions generated by bubble collapse and jet impact.
  • Cooperate with our collaborators in Canada and abroad.

Interested candidates should please contact Fabian Denner via email.

Financing possibility

Financial support is available.

Fabian Denner

Fabian Denner

Associate Professor

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