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PhD Research Project

AACE-AFM-128: Multidisciplinary analysis and design optimisation of air vehicles


Engineering & The Environment
Dr A Da Ronch
Applications accepted all year round
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

There is a definite lack of knowledge and capabilities to design and build next-generation air vehicles to be flown in a ten to twenty years’ time frame. Current design trends in the aerospace industry give raise to very flexible structures with low frequency modes. The complex interactions between different fields, e.g. structural dynamics, unsteady fluids, aerodynamic effectors, are not well understood. Traditional design approaches are inadequate to address these problems in a realistic manner. The development of new methodologies that are based on a physical formulation and not on empiricisms and the ability to go beyond traditional design paradigms are instrumental to successfully create a unique suite of computational tools that will be adopted by national agencies involved with futuristic concepts.

The project will develop a framework for high-fidelity multidisciplinary simulations. The framework will consists of a set of tools to perform conceptual design using novel methodologies, optimisation, and fast and accurate assessment for military air vehicles. The successful development of a multidisciplinary framework depends not only on the ability to provide an interface to existing codes, but also on the algorithms used for each component of the vehicle design and analysis. These will include, among others, specialist codes for handling the geometry, aerodynamics, control, propulsion, structures, and mass and inertia. To overcome the difficulty of choosing the right compromise of costs and accuracy at various stages of the vehicle design and analysis, a hierarchy of modelling techniques are used. The flight conditions will range from subsonic to supersonic, and eventually hypersonic.

A number of research projects will be defined in close collaboration with the defence agency, and will benefit from interactions with several other universities.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Andrea Da Ronch, Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics research group, Email: A.Da-Ronch@soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4787.

At this stage, the position is open to excellent U.K. students only.


Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 Results


Unit of Assessment: Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering What is the RAE?
FTE Category A Staff Submitted 4* 3* 2* 1* U/C
132.49 15% 45% 35% 5% 0%


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