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Additively manufactured morphing components for aeroelastic applications

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

Project Description

Informal queries should be directed to Dr Evripides Loukaides ()

Fuel consumption and structural performance of aeroplanes strongly depends on the geometry and behaviour of the wings. The ability of wings and their substructures to change shape in a responsive manner during different stages of flight has long been envisioned as a route to lower energy requirements and improved control. One category of structures has the necessary features to be exploited in this application: Multistable shells are lightweight, scalable and have multiple stable configurations without the need for continuous actuation.

Multistable shells have mostly been studied in the context of fibre composite materials. However, it has been shown that this behaviour can be produced by patterning a single homogeneous material, e.g. in a square honeycomb pattern. This approach has strong synergy with Additive Manufacturing, which allows the complex geometry to be optimized and manufactured easily. Preliminary work has shown this method to be attractive at the small scale, where demonstrators for cylindrical and variable curvature components have been produced. A variety of materials has already been tested, including metal 3D printing.

In addition to applications directly relating to wings, a number of components can be envisioned. Multistable shells can reduce need for mechanical hinges and provide mechanical energy storage or rapid deployment mechanisms. This project will investigate a range of applications and develop designs and physical demonstrators for the most useful concepts. It is also envisioned that relevant design guides will be developed to assist the industrial adoption of such devices.

The ideal applicant would have a background in structures or solid mechanics and an interest in additive manufacturing. Relevant degrees would be Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Physics. 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:

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020

Funding Notes

Funding is for up to three and a half years. It includes UK/EU tuition fees, training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a Maintenance stipend of £15,009 per annum (2019/0 rate). EU students are eligible to apply if they have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the funding commencing.

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)

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