PhD Studentship Nonlinear Modelling of Aircraft Gust Loads

The project

With over 100,000 unsteady aerodynamic simulations required to estimate the maximum loads for each design cycle of a civil aircraft, the introduction of high fidelity analysis into loads prediction is a very challenging and rewarding area of research.

Simple dynamically linear models form the current basis of aircraft loads techniques as they are efficient and fit into existing analysis for aeroelastic and aeroservoelastic simulation.  However large discrete gusts are highly non-linear and such approaches become inaccurate at flow conditions that commonly form the largest loads experienced by the aircraft.  Accurate and rapid prediction of these loads is the goal of this work.

Provisional work within a collaborative EU research project (FFAST) has identified a potentially, important phenomena in the modelling of transonic flows. Research in this project will provide: an insight into the nature of the nonlinearity of the gust response and then the development of methods for constructing reduced order models from the understanding of the dynamics of a set of “internal” variables. More information can be found here:

Additionally, there is the opportunity for the successful candidate to spend 9 months working alongside his/her industrial supervisor at EADS- Innovation works. EADS-Innovation Works is the corporate research centre of EADS, with sites in Germany, France, Spain, UK, Singapore and Russia, and provides world-class capabilities in aeronautics, defence and space research topics.

Candidate requirements

First Class Degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics.

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Preference for students with experience/knowledge of fluid mechanics, flight mechanics and computational modelling or computational fluid dynamics.


Studentship covers full UK/EU PhD tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at the EPSRC rate (£13,726 in 2013/14) plus an enhanced stipend of £10,000. Industrial partner: EADS Innovation Works. 

Due to funding requirements, this studentship is only open to Home and EU students who have spent the last 3 years in the UK. 

How to apply

Applications should be made online at

Please select ‘Aerospace Engineering (PhD)’ in the Programme Choice section and quote the title of the studentship in the Research Details and Funding sections of the form.


For informal enquiries, in the first instance please email Dr Dorian Jones ( with “EADS-IW Loads PhD” as the subject heading.

Deadline for applications

This position will close on 14 July 2013

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