Engineering Doctorate Studentship

Project Title: Impacts of peak hour air traffic movements on airport design and capacity

Closing Date: 10th January 2014

Start Date: 1st April 2014

Context and Background

An opportunity exists for a Research Engineer to lead a joint research venture between RDC Aviation and Loughborough University as part of the prestigious four-year Engineering Doctorate programme, leading to the award ‘Doctor of Engineering’.

RDC provide critical forecasting and advisory roles for many of the World’s largest airport transaction and Masterplanning projects, including the New Istanbul Airport, new greenfield airports in North America and Africa and the majority of European asset sales.

Research Aim

The aim of the research is to investigate and model the relationship and factors affecting peak hour aircraft movements and the associated effects on surface access, landside, airside and airspace capacity for a range of airport characteristics that is applicable in a global context. The research will also examine emerging technological and passenger/airline behavioural trends which could shape future airport flow patterns and thus influence the design and spatial configuration of the built environment at airports.

Research Objectives

The main objectives are to:

  • Identify and compare existing sources and studies relating to airport peak hour and annual passengers and benchmark airport peaking characteristics
  • Understand the evolution of peak month seasonality and factors influencing the changes and the stability among different types of airports/airlines
  • Examine how the number, types and orientation of runways and operational restrictions affects airport capacity
  • Explore how the introduction of larger aircraft will impact airspace, runway, ground operations and passenger volumes within terminals at peak times
  • Determine how new trends in passenger check-in processes will impact airport peaks
  • Test and validate new methodological techniques that are suitable for industry implementation.

Expected Outcomes
Key anticipated outcomes of the project include:

  • A new and innovative approach to the growing world-wide challenge of future airport design and capacity provision
  • Competitive advantage in airport surface access, airport terminal design and airspace modelling and management
  • New research outputs relating to airport and airspace capacity and the complex interrelationships between the different functional areas of an airport
  • A significant contribution to the field of airport masterplanning and forecasting.

Suitable Candidates

This EngD research project is open to graduates with a degree in Economics, Geography or relevant field and that are articulate, well qualified and highly motivated. The minimum entry qualification is a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent. A lower qualification is acceptable only if supplemented with an appropriate postgraduate (MSc/MEng) qualification and relevant industrial experience.


The successful applicant will receive a minimum enhanced tax-free stipend of £19,000 p.a. and a generous training allowance. Due to Tier 4 visa restrictions on industry placements, this is only available to UK/EU applicants.

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted with the relevant supporting documents (see how to apply) and should be made through Loughborough University’s Online Application Portal


For informal discussions about the research project please contact Dr Lucy Budd at

Also Read  Postgraduate Scholarship: Wireless Communication Systems MSc Postgraduate Scholarships for Women in Engineering

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *