Funded PhD Studentship Wing Aerodynamic Design for Multidisciplinary Aircraft Assessment

Lead Supervisor Name: Mr John Doherty

Funding Status: Directly Funded Project (Due to Funding Restrictions UK students only) 

Application Deadline: 4th September 2013

Project Description

Aerodynamics is a central discipline within the early and detailed phases of multidisciplinary aircraft design. During concept selection there is a requirement to assess various promising aircraft concepts, with sufficient accuracy, but to achieve this within a rapid timescale. Rapid concept level aerodynamic design tools are available, but these lack fidelity and the resolution of the resulting design is limited. Higher fidelity aerodynamic analysis tools are used in the subsequent stages of design, but these methods can be time-consuming and require a highly detailed design definition. 

Research will address the need for generation of medium fidelity aerodynamic data, within a rapid timescale, suitable for integration into a broader multidisciplinary analysis and design process. The challenge is to provide aerodynamic data for design trades, without having time to design and refine an aerodynamic wing shape to the level required to use high fidelity tools (e.g. CFD). This medium fidelity prediction would be dependent on top level parameters and assumptions to account for normal 3D design principles. The research will involve design process development, combining mixed fidelity aerodynamic analysis methods in 2D/3D, surrogate modelling techniques and optimisation. The successful candidate will be based for up to half of the 3 year period at Airbus Filton, working with the Wing Aerodynamic Design team and the Multidisciplinary Integration team.

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Funding Notes

The successful candidate should have obtained a 1st class or good 2.1 degree in aerospace engineering, physics, applied mathematics or a related discipline. Previous knowledge of aerodynamics, mathematical modelling and programming skills would be advantageous.

This is a fully funded studentship, normal EPSRC rules apply. A tax-free stipend of £13726/year is available for three years, with an additional £4000 to cover additional expenses associated with periods based in Airbus.


Informal enquiries about the scientific nature of the work can be sent to John Doherty ( ).

Applications can be made on-line via the postgraduate website of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at:

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