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PhD Studentship - Simulation of large-amplitude gust interaction with rigid wings

School of Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 August 2020
Reference:  1216219DA

Supervisor:                 Andrea Da Ronch

Project description

This is a unique opportunity for an enthusiastic and self-driven student to join a vibrant team with a well-proved expertise in nonlinear computational aeroelasticity and aerodynamics. The research project is driven by the technologies underpinning next-generation aerospace systems.

Due to their small size and low speed, maintaining controlled flight of an unmanned air vehicle that operates in a dynamic and complex environment is challenging. Therefore, there is need to gain a deeper understanding of the unsteady flow physics for moderate to large gust intensities that violate the assumptions of linear aerodynamic models. The project addresses this problem from the two extremes of the dimensionality spectrum. From one side, high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics simulations are the main source of information to further improve our understanding of the dynamic interaction of large-amplitude gust with rigid wings. From the other side, we want to develop reduced-order models for applications requiring real-time simulation results, such as the development of mitigation strategies to increase the resilience of the unmanned air vehicle to unsteadiness in the surrounding environment.

The successful applicant will be encouraged to further develop analytical and computational skills, work closely with team members, and submit the research results to high-quality journals. The applicant is also expected to visit one or more overseas institutions throughout the duration of the PhD programme. After three years of study, the successful applicant will be well-prepared for a rewarding industrial or academic career, leveraging on the network of contacts created as part of the research project.

The successful applicant will have an excellent background in physics, engineering or applied mathematics, and programming experience. It is desirable to have familiarity with a computational fluid dynamics software or experimental fluid mechanics. The three-year studentship is available to UK/EU students only and the stipend is at the standard EPSRC-level. Applications are welcome from outstanding overseas applicants. However, the applicants must make appropriate arrangements to cover the difference between the overseas and UK tuition fees.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Andrea Da Ronch, Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4787.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Andrea Da Ronch under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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