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2 PhD Studentship: Advanced Numerical Methods for Structural Aircraft Simulation

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Application deadline: 10th December 2023

Start date: September 2024 (flexible)

These two positions are related to a project funded by the EPSRC, involving various partners such as NASA, Airbus and Rolls-Royce. The objective is to develop numerical methods which will underpin the efficient structural simulation of original aircraft configurations, such as those we will progressively encounter as we move to alternative fuels in aviation. It is intended that these numerical methods will additionally increase the role of simulation for certification purposes, hence further accelerating the design of new aircraft.

The post-holders will be part of a team which also includes 2 PDRA all working on this project, as well as the supervisor, Prof. Pinho. Visits to NASA, Airbus and other project partners are planned within the project, as well as deployment of the software at Airbus and validation against real test data, part of Airbus’s Wing of Tomorrow project. There will also be opportunities to participate in the supervision of master’s projects.

The posts will involve using the Finite Element Method, Artificial Intelligence and Uncertainty Quantification, and will require programming using Python and C++ (e.g. user elements, user materials, surrogate models, among others). The software created will be made publicly available under a BSD-3 licence, so it achieves maximum impact. It is expected that various journal and conference publications will result from this work.

The post-holder will gain experience in:

  • Numerical simulation using the finite element method;
  • Machine Learning;
  • Uncertainty quantification;
  • Professional Programming Standards; and
  • Aircraft design and certification.

Applicants should have a strong background in solid mechanics, the finite element method and programming, with experience in artificial intelligence, uncertainty quantification and aircraft design being an advantage. Applications are invited from candidates who possess (or expect to gain) a first-class honours MEng or higher degree or equivalent in Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Computing or related areas.

Imperial College is consistently ranked as one of top universities in the world in various rankings; for instance, it ranked 6th in the world in the QS World University Rankings for 2023. It has also been ranked as the most innovative university in Europe.

Funding is available for UK citizens. The studentship is for 3.5 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of approximately £20,622.

If you are interested in applying, I will be happy to address any initial informal enquiries you may have (Silvestre Pinho, [email protected]).

For queries regarding the application process, please contact Lisa Kelly at [email protected]

Imperial College is committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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