PhD Studentship in Hybrid Techniques for Change Impact and Value Analysis

Limit of tenure: 3 years

Thermal behaviour of aircraft has recently become a crucial subject for many reasons: the increasing number of complex systems required by modern, more electric, commercial aircraft, the introduction of hotter engines with higher by-pass ratios, the increased use of composite material in aircraft structures, or the confinement of highly dissipative equipment and systems in smaller areas to earn space for passengers and cargo. New advanced techniques to manage the aircraft thermal behaviour at the very early stages of development are essential to take the right configuration decisions while meeting market demands. To work efficiently and on emerging innovative solutions, it is essential to perform thermal management at the global aircraft level.

A consortium has been established bringing together aircraft manufacturers, research institutes and universities to undertake research into a radical step-change in how thermal studies are performed within aircraft design processes. As a consortium partner, the Engineering Design Centre will be involved in researching and developing super-integration capabilities to support the work of thermal architects.

The intention is that a doctoral student will explore how hybrid change prediction techniques can be used to support change impact and value analysis. The Engineering Design Centre is one of the leaders in the field of engineering change management, in both theory and practical techniques (i.e. the Change Prediction Method). Recent developments of the Change Prediction Method have included its combination with the House of Quality to identify how change options might support product requirements, and its combination with functional reasoning (CPM-FBS)  to provide explicit change prediction at functional, behavioural and structural levels of a product. On TOICA’s predecessor project (CRESCENDO), EDC researchers developed a change prediction technique for application to process workflows. In the TOICA project, the expectation is that the doctoral student would build upon these foundations to design, implement  and evaluate hybrid techniques, for instance combining the product-centric CPM-FBS technique with process-centric change prediction. Dependent on how the research progresses and the evolution of the consortium use cases, these techniques might be enhanced with different metrics of product and process cost, schedule, quality and value metrics to support better impact analysis. It is likely that the dimensions of requirements and rationale may need to be explicitly handled by the emergent technique.

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A background in (Java) computer programming and/or aerospace engineering will be advantageous.

It is expected that the consortium project (TOICA) will be funded by the EU Framework Programme 7 and a research student holding UK/EU citizenship can receive some or all of the PhD fees and living expenses through this funding.

Applications should be made via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions Office Initial informal enquiries about this post may be addressed to Dr Timos Kipouros (email:,

Quote Reference: NA30142

Closing Date: 24 June 2013

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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