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Flying Trains: The Potential to Harness Ground Effect Aerodynamics for Ultra-High Speed Trains (Advert Reference: SF18/MCE/LEUNG)

Project Description

The ’Flying Train’ concept uses ground effect aerodynamics to provide a transport system with the convenience and capacity of rail but at near-flight velocities. Ground Effect offers significantly increased lift compared to conventional flight. Current studies by the supervisors demonstrate that multiple-wing configurations may increase lift force by threefold.

This project will be investigate the aerodynamic characteristics of a multi-wing vehicle/train; using CFD supported by experimental validation. It is envisaged that the study will yield understandings on the working principles of high speed trains using ground effect aerofoils. An optimised design will also be developed.

Please note eligibility requirement:

* Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]) in Mechanical or Aeronautical Engineering; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
* Appropriate IELTS score, if required

This project is well suited to motivated and hard-working candidates with a keen interest in High Speed Train Aerodynamics. The applicant should have excellent communication skills including proven ability to write in English.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF18/MCE/LEUNG) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019 or 1 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University hold an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project


H Ebrahim, R Dominy, P S Leung
Evaluation of vehicle platooning aerodynamics using bluff body wake generators and CFD
International Conference for Students on Applied Engineering (ISCAE)
January 2017

H Ebrahim, R Dominy, N Martin, P S Leung
Analysis of the Surface Pressure and Power Consumption Experienced by Full-Scale Vehicles
in Platoon
International Conference on Vehicle Aerodynamics, Oct 2018

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