PhD Studentship Adjoint Aerodynamic Optimisation for Natural Laminar Flow Wings

Airbus/University of Sheffield Industrial CASE PhD Studentship

Academic Supervisor: Professor Ning Qin, University of Sheffield
Industrial Supervisor: Mr Phillipe Garang, Airbus Operations Ltd.

Aerodynamic design optimisation is playing an increasingly important role in transport aircraft drag reduction, resulting in a reduction in aviation fuel usage and emissions. In aerodynamic optimisation, adjoint based optimisation allows for very detailed and efficient shape optimisation with hundreds or thousands of design variables.

This project focuses on adjoint based aerodynamic optimisation of natural laminar flow wings at transonic conditions. About 50 per cent of aircraft drag comes from skin friction drag for current supercritical swept wing designs, with the boundary layer around the wing experiencing mostly turbulent status due to the sweep, the pressure distribution and the high Reynolds number.

Keeping the boundary layer laminar as much as possible on the wing, i.e. delaying boundary layer transition, can substantially reduce the aircraft drag. Detailed aerodynamic design optimisation provides a powerful tool for aircraft designers to evaluate and balance the various conflicting demands on reducing skin friction drag while keeping the wave drag under control at high transonic speeds.

Candidate Profile

The candidate should have or expect to obtain a good (1st or 2.i) aerospace, mechanical engineering, computer science or related physical science degree and should be enthusiastic about aerodynamic development, design optimisation and practical aerospace applications. Some experience in aerodynamics and/or computational fluid dynamics is preferred but not essential.

Also Read  PhD Studentship in Mechanics of Materials

Further Information

This studentship is available from October 2013 for 3.5 years. The successful candidate will be expected to spend some time during their PhD at Airbus in Bristol, working with the company’s aerodynamicists and design engineers. The award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and a tax-free stipend of £15,000 per year. Please note, due to funding restrictions, the studentship is only available to UK and EU citizens.

To apply please send a copy of your CV to Professor N. Qin, at by clicking on the Apply button below. Alternatively, please post this to:

Professor Ning Qin
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD
Tel: 0114 2227718

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