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Modelling and Analysis of Opposed Piston Composite Cycle Aero Engine Concepts PhD


   School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM)

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  Dr Uyioghosa Igie  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Building a sustainable and climate neutral future for aviation is an inevitable requirement for a society with increasing mobility needs.

If we are to stabilise the global temperature below the 1.5°C threshold set by the Paris Agreement, rapid action is to be taken. The MINIMAL (MInimum enviroNmental IMpact ultra-efficient cores for Aircraft propuLsion) project will address this, contributing to a radical transformation in air transport by providing disruptive ultra-efficient and low emission technologies that will, in combination with the aviation ecosystem, sustainably reduce the climate impact of aviation. This will be accomplished with the introduction of climate-optimised new propulsion systems based on composite cycle engine technology, that provides flexibility with respect to operations, and that has the potential to eliminate the large sources of effective radiative forcing.

This PhD project within the MINIMAL project will provide proof of concept that large CO2 and non-CO2 reductions can be achieved by replacing the conventional constant pressure combustion core with opposed piston composite cycle engine (CCE) technology. The focus of this PhD study includes:

  • Assess the suitability of opposed piston (OP) cores for high bypass turbofan engines.
  • Develop preliminary performance and NOx emission models for H2-fuelled OP cores variants.
  • Design core inlet and exhaust ports and flow mixing systems. Assess bounce-chamber operation and internal sealing designs.
  • Develop performance models for CCE with OP core sizing, general arrangements and weight estimates for cycle variants with/without turbocharging, steam injection, exhaust gas recirculation and intercooling.
  • Perform multi-disciplinary engine cycle and trajectory optimisation studies to assess trade-offs between fuel burn, NOx and persistent contrail avoidance trajectories.

The prospective PhD researcher is expected to have experience in modelling gas turbine and/or piston engine systems.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 1st or 2.1 undergraduate degree in relevant science or engineering areas, such as aeronautical, mechanical engineering, physics or mathematics. A master’s degree in any one of these areas would be ideal.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

For further information please contact:

Name:Dr. Uyioghosa Igie

Email: [Email Address Removed]

If you are eligible to apply for this studentship, please complete the online application form.


Funding Notes

First Year: £27,000
Second Year: £28,000*
Third Year: £28,500*
* Increments are subject to a performance review by the project supervisor(s) and good performance during the PhD reviews.
The bursary will be tax-free however a successful candidate will be responsible for paying his/her tuition fees. (£12,096 p.a. for home students, £21,740 p.a. for overseas students)

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