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Drag Reduction for Future Generation Blended Wing Body Aircraft powered by Hydrogen


   Department of Mechanical Engineering

   Tuesday, January 31, 2023  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Discipline: Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Subject: Aerodynamics

Research Group: Aerodynamics

Key words: Blended wing body, Hydrogen power, Drag reduction, Boundary layer transition, Natural laminar flow, Shape optimisation, Adjoint method

About the project

The environmental impact of aviation has now become a pacing issue, demanding greener future aircraft design. One of the most interesting technologies is the use of Hydrogen as fuel for propulsion, which produce water rather than CO2 as the product of combustion. It has been identified by the aerospace industry as the pathway to its zero-emission ambition. However there are a number of key technological challenges for Hydrogen powered transport aircraft. This project aims to address one of these challenges through aerodynamic design optimisation. While hydrogen is three times more energy efficient than fossil fuel per unit mass, the volume required to store hydrogen fuel is much higher. This necessitates a rethink on the current conventional design as the aircraft will be much more bulkier for fuel storage. Therefore efficient aerodynamic design for minimum drag becomes even more important. The blended wing body aircraft offers a large volume to surface ratio in comparison with the current popular designs, which will be further exploited for future Hydrogen powered aircraft. Fundamental flow physics will be simulated in order to delay boundary layer transition and therefore reducing the skin friction drag, a significant component of the total drag. The boundary layer around the aircraft along with the shock waves will be investigated in detail for the design at transonic speeds exploiting natural laminar flows.

About you

A 1st Class or 2.1 MEng/MSc or equivalent degree in Aerospace, Mechanical or related Engineering degree.

Desirable Skills

Experience in applying and/or developing Computational Fluid Dynamics

Good knowledge of aerodynamics and fluid mechanics

Computational and programming skills in any language

Other Skills

Excellent communication skills, verbal and written

High motivation and initiation in research

Ability to conduct research Independently and in a team  

If you are interested, please send an email to express your interest, and a copy of your CV with the contacts of two academic referees as a single pdf file to: Professor Ning Qin ().

Application link https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/apply/applying


Funding Notes

Funding is only available to cover the level of fees set for UK applicants and a stipend at the standard EPSRC rate of £17,668 for 2022/23. However, we are willing to consider overseas applicants providing there is means to fund the difference between home and overseas tuition fees.
Overseas applicants will require an acceptable English qualification such as IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 and minimum of 6 in each component or equivalent.

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