As part of the Sixth European Union’s Framework Programme for research and technological development, under the Marie Curie actions programme designed to support the training and mobility of researchers throughout Europe, the early stage training (EST) project ‘COFLUIDS’ was setup in the Centre for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) at the University of Leeds. It provided 468 months of training to researchers at an early stage of their careers with less than 4 years of research experience. The project lasted for 4 years, beginning on 01 May 2006, with advertisements placed in a variety of online locations.
It attracted a great deal of interest, over its course, since 84 applications for 36 month fellowships were received from candidates of European Union and associate states, along with 246 applications from non European Union states. For short term fellowships of less than 12 months duration, 55 applications were received from candidates of European Union and associate states, along with 124 applications from non European Union states. From these applications, 11 fellows were appointed to long term fellowships and 13 fellows to short term fellowships. Once chosen, there was little difficulty in making the appointments, only one 36 month long term candidate and one 6 month short term candidate declined the offer of a fellowship. Of the total time available, 53.6 % was allocated to females, thus demonstrating equality of opportunity in this project for females. Regarding the split between European Union and non European Union qualified fellows, the latter represented 29.9 % of the total time allocation.
The Centre for Computational Fluid Dynamics is an interdisciplinary centre, having links with a multitude of departments throughout the University and a total of 22 staff members were directly involved in the formal supervision of the recruited fellows, namely Prof M. Pourkashanian (CFD Centre), Dr K.J. Hughes (CFD Centre), Dr L. Ma (CFD Centre), Prof A. Williams (CFD Centre), Prof M. Fairweather (School of Process, Environment and Materials Engineering), Dr L. Elliot (Department of Applied Mathematics), Prof D.B. Ingham (Department of Applied Mathematics), Prof D. Lesnic (Department of Applied Mathematics), Prof B.D. Sleeman (Department of Applied Mathematics), Dr J.A. Tinker (School of Civil Engineering), Prof P.K. Jimack (School of Computing), Dr A Burns (School of Earth and Environment), Dr S.D. Harris (School of Earth and Environment), Prof R.J. Knipe (School of Earth and Environment), Dr J. Peakall (School of Earth and Environment), Dr A. Ross (School of Earth and Environment), Dr X. Wen (School of Earth and Environment), Prof J. Fisher (School of Mechanical Engineering), Prof R. Pollard (School of Mechanical Engineering), Prof Z. Jin (School of Mechanical Engineering), Prof R. Williams (School of Process, Environment and Materials Engineering), Dr Y.Ding (School of Process, Environment and Materials Engineering). As a result, the appointed fellows worked in a wide variety of areas contributing to the European Union’s broad thematic priorities such as transport, engineering and the environment, with a main focus on energy related topics such as biofuels and their potential use in aviation, as well as on the development of fuel cells which would provide clean sources of electricity.
During their work, fellows made a combined total of 55 oral and 10 poster presentations at conferences and workshops and published 20 articles in peer reviewed journals and 13 in peer reviewed conference proceedings. The long term fellows were expected to obtain a PhD as a result of their research. By the time of the project completion two had already completed this task, one was shortly having the PhD viva and the others were expected to do so by the end of the year. At the same time, the long term fellows who had left Leeds were in high demand and all were in research based or industrial employment at a level commensurate with their new skills, thus demonstrating the relevance of the COFLUIDS project to training the necessary people to help drive forward the knowledge based economy within the European Union.