Aerostructural Optimisation of Ultra-high Aspect Ratio Wings at University of Southampton

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Supervisory Team: Prof. Ali Elham

Project description

To meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement, aviation (~3% of human global CO2 emissions) must do its share. The target for air transportation is a 75% reduction in CO2 and 90% reduction in NOx by 2050. The European Green Deal even aims at climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve such goals, the path forward is minimising aircraft weight and drag and moving towards emissions-free energy sources, storage and conversion systems. The sector is looking at new energy carriers (batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen) and distributed propulsion concepts, as well as new configurations such as Ultra-High Aspect Ratio Wings (UHARW). Although the UHARW concept presents the distinct advantage of reduced induced drag, consequently leading to reduced fuel consumption and extended range, it concurrently introduces challenges associated with substantial aerodynamic load-induced wing bending moments and shear forces. These factors give rise to heightened structural weight, thereby constraining the overall advantages of the UHARW design. To tackle this challenge, some strategies can be employed, for example integrating novel configurations, such as strut-braced wings, with novel technologies such as active and passive load alleviation.

In this project, as comprehensive approach for conceptual design and aerostructural analysis and optimsiation of UHARWs will be developed and applied to design of next generation low emission transport aircraft. Advanced optimisation approaches, i.e. coupled-adjoint sensitivity analysis will be integrated with medium to high fidelity aerodynamic and structural analysis tools to achieve this goal.

We are seeking a person with a master degree (or equivalent). in aerospace or a closely related field, with experience in aircraft design, aeroelasticity and aerostructural optimisation.

You will join a leading Engineering Faculty with an excellent record of collaborative research with industry and academic institutions in the UK and abroad. In September 2013 an Athena SWAN Bronze award was received by the School of Engineering in recognition of our continued commitment to improving equality for women in science and engineering. 

The Faculty offers exceptional research facilities in the areas of fluids, structures and their interactions, including a new world-class fluid dynamics facilities complex in the Boldrewood Engineering Campus, complete with a 138m towing tank.  

At the University of Southampton, we value diversity and equality.  The University recognises that employees may wish to have working patterns that fit with their caring responsibilities or work-life balance.  Due consideration will also be given to applicants who have had career breaks for reasons including maternity, paternity or adoption leave, disability or illness.  Both the University of Southampton and Chemistry are proud to hold Athena Swan Silver Awards.

Entry Requirements

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

Closing date: 15 December 2023

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £18,622 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Apply online via the ‘Apply‘ button above. Select programme type (Research), 2024/25, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD Engineering & Environment (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Ali Elham

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact: fe************@so***.uk

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