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Active Whirl Flutter Control

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, March 25, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Lead Supervisor & informal enquiries: Dr David Cleaver ()

There is currently great interest from rotorcraft manufacturers in tilt-rotor aircraft (see AW609 and Cleansky Next Gen TiltRotor) due to their ability to achieve VTOL and high-speed long-range flight. However, one of the major limitations to their speed is whirl flutter. This is where the rotor excites the wing torsional mode causing it to precess, thereby driving the torsional mode. To prevent whirl flutter requires thickening of the wing to increase its torsional stiffness, thereby increasing drag and sacrificing some of the speed / range that makes tiltrotor aircraft competitive. We are proposing use high-frequency aerodynamic actuators to control the whirl flutter at its inception.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research council have recently funded a project to investigate this concept as part of the MENtOR programme. This studentship will investigate the potential through a Hardware in the Loop (HiL) approach. HiL refers to a hybrid testing method where the parts of the problem that can be simulated are modelled computationally and the parts that cannot be simulated are measured experimentally. In this case the structural dynamics can be modelled; whereas the unsteady aerodynamics cannot and so will be experimentally investigated in a wind tunnel with the model and experiment linked in real-time. This project therefore incorporates two interesting and novel aspects, unsteady aerodynamic control of whirl flutter and HiL.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or non-UK equivalent). English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

This project is eligible for inclusion, subject to funding availability, in a funding round with application deadline Wednesday 25 March 2020. Early submission is advised. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020

Funding Notes

UK and EU candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University Research Studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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