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PhD Studentship: SAFER: StAll FluttER on conventional and innovative wing structures

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SAFER: StAll FluttER on conventional and innovative wing structures

Investing in Academic Excellence

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Engineering. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on the aeroelastic instabilities, using state of the art Wind Tunnel testing and high-fidelity computational tools.

Modern rotor blades and high aspect ratio wings are very flexible and susceptible to stall flutter. This aeroelastic instability can cause catastrophic failures and is a primary design driver. Stall flutter is linked to Stall Cells, which are 3D structures of separated flow. However, their relationship to stall flutter remains elusive.

Simultaneously, conventional aero-structure design and manufacturing remains expensive, polluting and limited regarding the controllability it can offer. The industrial partner in the project, IDPortal Engineering, have patented a new structure design, which combines shape-morphing, load bearing and control capabilities. Importantly, it is produced through low-energy additive manufacturing using recycled plastic.

The aim of this project is two-fold: firstly, to provide a step change in our understanding of stall cells and stall flutter; secondly, to benchmark a ground-breaking shape morphing wing design against traditional approaches and facilitate its wider use. To this end, an ambitious experimental campaign coupled with a high-fidelity fluid-structure interaction computational study will be performed.

The proposed research will afford the successful student a chance to gain deep understanding of unsteady aerodynamics and aeroelastic instabilities.

What is offered

The doctoral studentship will provide:

Scholarship: The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000. 

Additional income: Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2.2K pa on an average (max. is around £4.3K pa) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.

Eligibility and requirements

The candidate should have an upper second-class BSc/BEng/MEng (or equivalent, or higher) degree in aeronautics/aerospace or mechanical engineering. They should demonstrate aptitude for original research and possess a good understanding of Wing Aerodynamics and Aeroelasticity. The research also includes high-fidelity simulations of the aeroelastic phenomena, so a background in computational fluid dynamics would be beneficial.

A candidate who demonstrates exceptional aptitude in one or more of these areas (as evidenced, for instance, through strong academic credentials or research papers in reputable, peer-reviewed journals/conferences) may be accorded preference. The successful candidate should be able to code comfortably in MATLAB and candidates with Wind Tunnel testing experience will be preferred.

A doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD: 

  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
  • Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research

Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to contact Dr Marinos Manolesos for any initial informal enquiries ([email protected])

How to Apply

Online applications should be submitted via the apply button below. 

More information can be found here:

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

Click Here to Apply For The Job



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