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Job Record #16932
TitlePhD - Indoor Airborne Disease Transmission
CategoryPhD Studentship
EmployerUniversity of British Columbia
LocationCanada, British Columbia, Kelowna
InternationalYes, international applications are welcome
Closure Date* None *
Applications are requested for a fully-funded PhD position in computational 
fluid dynamics (CFD) of aerosol-based disease transmission in indoor 
environments. The research will be conducted within the UBC Cluster of 
Research Excellence in Airborne Disease Transmission, a cross-campus team of 
researchers developing infection isolation and removal solutions designed to 
mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses in 
healthcare settings. Working in close collaboration with partners in diverse 
clinical settings, this expert team of researchers aims to break the 
transmission of respiratory infections to make healthcare delivery safer. 
The successful applicant will work in a multidisciplinary team alongside 
experts in computational fluid dynamics, multiphase flows, immunology, 
assistive health technology, dentistry, public health, epidemiology, surgery 
and anesthesiology.

The successful applicant will investigate how the design of indoor spaces, 
their ventilation and infection control systems, and the actions of human 
occupants in and through these spaces impact the transport of air and 
airborne droplets and aerosols. The research will be jointly supervised by 
Dr. Joshua Brinkerhoff and Dr. Vicki Komisar, both in the UBC Okanagan 
School of Engineering. The specific research activities will involve high-
fidelity multiphase large eddy simulations (LES) of droplet- and aerosol-
laden flows in indoor environments. High-risk clinical activities will be 
identified by clinical partners, and the LES studies will characterize the 
transport behaviour of air and aerosols within the corresponding spaces, 
including all relevant factors affecting airflow (furniture/equipment 
layout, local and distributed heat sources, ventilation flows, and 
occupants). The simulations will help identify how air moves through a 
space, how aerosols are transported and deposited, and how the room design, 
location of equipment, the types of medical procedures performed in the 
various rooms, and the room ventilation performance affect airborne disease 
transmission. The research will also investigate how healthcare workers and 
patients moving within the space impact infection transmission.

The position is open to students who have completed a Masters degree in 
mechanical, civil, biomechanical, or aerospace engineering or a related 
discipline. Applicants with interests in fluid mechanics, computational 
fluid mechanics (CFD), numerical simulation, parallel computing, and 
biomechanics are encouraged to apply. Coding experience in 
Python/C/C++/OpenFOAM and prior CFD experience is an asset, as is strong 
skills in CAD software and meshing tool for CFD, large-scale parallel 
computing, large eddy simulations (LES), turbulence, and/or health research.

This opportunity is available to Canadian citizens, permanent residents of 
Canada, and international applicants meeting the admission criteria for UBC 
Okanagan and School of Engineering. It is expected that successful 
candidates will commence graduate studies from September 1, 2021, or as soon 
as possible thereafter.

Application procedure
Candidates are asked to submit:
• A cover letter describing their research interests, experience, and 
motivations for graduate study
• A detailed curriculum vitae highlighting their educational and 
professional achievements
• A list of three professional and/or academic references
• Unofficial transcripts from their Masters degree
• English test scores (if required). Applicants with degrees in a language 
other than English must have a minimum TOEFL score of 580 (PBT) or 92 (IBT) 
or IELTS minimum overall band of 6.5 (with nothing less than 6.0 per 
individual test)

Interested candidates should send the above documents and direct queries to 
Dr. Joshua Brinkerhoff ( Additional information 
of Dr. Brinkerhoff’s research is available from his research webpage: 

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and 
diverse research team fosters the inclusion of voices that have been 
underrepresented or discouraged. Equity and diversity not only lead to a 
more fair and open society, but also improves the quality of the science and 
increases the opportunities to learn and grow from each other. Drs. 
Brinkerhoff and Komisar specifically encourage applications from members of 
groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. 
Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or 
expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital 
or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or 
Indigenous person.

Contact Information:
Please mention the CFD Jobs Database, record #16932 when responding to this ad.
NameJoshua Brinkerhoff
Email ApplicationYes
AddressSchool Of Engineering
1137 Alumni Avenue
Record Data:
Last Modified01:14:21, Saturday, January 16, 2021

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