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PhD Studentship: Aircraft Engine Noise: Prediction and Measurement of Acoustic Scattering

Institute of Sound & Vibration Research

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  988918MM

Project: ISVR-ACOUS-483

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship working on the prediction of aircraft engine noise. The PhD student will join a world-leading research team based within the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) at the University of Southampton, a member of the Russell Group and ranked in the world’s top 100 Universities. The ISVR was founded in 1963 and is a dedicated Institute for teaching and research in acoustical engineering and audiology. 

The PhD studentship is funded by Rolls-Royce plc and the University of Southampton. Since 1999 the ISVR has been home to the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Gas Turbine Noise. The Rolls-Royce UTC supports a large research team committed to research on aircraft noise. Noise is a major environmental impact of civil aviation. Reducing aircraft noise is critical to the growth of air transport and to the future of the UK aircraft industry. The successful applicant will join the Rolls-Royce UTC team which currently has 30 staff and postgraduate researchers.

In this project, the work will be a combination of theoretical and experimental aero-acoustics, focusing on the scattering of sound by turbulence. Scattering of sound by turbulence occurs in turbofan aero-engines as the sound generated by the fan or turbine propagates through the exhaust jet shear layers. 

A principal objective of this PhD project will be to develop a new theoretical method to predict strong scattering of tonal sound fields by turbulence. The strong scattering theoretical method will be based on Fourier methods and high-frequency asymptotic  “ray acoustics” methods. The other principal objective will be to design and conduct an experimental test program on acoustic scattering by turbulence in the ISVR Doak-jet facility. The experimental results will provide new physical insights into the scattering of sound by turbulence, and will be used to validate the new theoretical prediction method. Overall this work will lead to a comprehensive study of sound scattering by turbulence, applied to noise emissions from jet engines.

This three-year PhD studentship covers UK/EU level tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £15,009 per annum. The funding available is competitive and will only be awarded to an outstanding applicant. As part of the selection process, the strength of the whole application is taken into account, including academic qualifications, personal statement, CV and references. Applicants should have a good first degree in mathematics or a relevant engineering subject. Ideally the candidate should have some experience in fluid dynamics, but it is not necessary to have experience in acoustics to apply. It is planned to start the project in September 2019.  

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Alan McAlpine, Acoustics Research Group, Email:

How to Apply

Click here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

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