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High speed intake aerodynamics and flow distortion PhD

School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project


Applications are invited for fully-funded PhD studentship in the area of aero-engine intake aerodynamics within the Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University. The research will focus on propulsion system – supersonic intake integration and dynamic distortions for novel aircraft configurations.


High levels of inlet flow distortion are critical in closely coupled supersonic intake systems due to their complex spatial nature and notable temporal unsteadiness, which may influence the operability of the propulsion system. Future closely coupled designs may feature highly three-dimensional intake ducts whose design degrees of freedom may increase the complexity of integration with a propulsion system. These aspects could notably impact the development process and eventually penalise certification timescales.

In this doctoral programme computational capability for the prediction of the unsteady distortion characteristics within supersonic intakes will be developed via the simulation of the intake shock topologies. The aim of the work will be to de-risk experimental campaigns, which will be developed in parallel. A number of intake designs for high-speed air vehicles will be produced as an outcome of the computational campaigns. Emphasis will be given on the modelling of the boundary layer control on the supersonic intake shock system, interaction with the propulsion system and unsteady total pressure and swirl distortion characteristics. The generated datasets will educate design broader design methods for fan design and integration within the intake system.

About the sponsor

Sponsored by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Entry requirements

Applicants for the post must have a first-class or upper second-class degree in engineering or a related area. An aerospace background with a good background on compressible flow dynamics would be a distinct advantage as would experience of computational aerodynamics, aero-engine modelling and python programming.

Funding Notes

A tax-free studentship will be paid to include EU level fees as well as a stipend. To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK or EU national.

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