Novel Aerodynamic and Thermal Management Concepts for Environmental Friendly Aircraft PhD

Cranfield University

A fully funded PhD studentship and great opportunity to work closely with a leading aerospace organisation at the forefront of Sustainable Aviation to research and develop novel aircraft aerodynamic and thermal management concepts . We are looking for enthusiastic, inquisitive and motivated researchers with a strong interest in aerodynamics to join a diverse and inclusive research group focusing on technologies for the decarbonisation of aviation and the exploration of advanced aerodynamic and energy based analysis methods. This is an Industry-EPSRC CASE Award that focuses on the development of new aerodynamic analysis and thermal management concepts that will utilise the wasted heat from the aircraft power and propulsion systems to heat up the skin of the aircraft to improve its aerodynamic performance. The successful candidate will join a diverse, world class research group and will work closely with the industrial sponsor and other international researchers. The researcher will also have the opportunity to have an industrial placement.

The research will focus on aerodynamics and innovative aircraft concepts that will contribute to the development of sustainable and green aerodynamic solutions for aviation. It will combine elements of whole aircraft aerodynamic analysis, heat transfer and aircraft performance.

The researcher will develop and apply energy based aerodynamic analysis methods to research and analyse the effect of using the heat generated by novel power and propulsion systems on the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft.

The researcher will join a diverse and inclusive team at Cranfield University that focuses on the development, integration and evaluation of novel aircraft, propulsion and aerodynamic technologies. The team has developed novel, world class energy and exergy based aerodynamic methods and the researcher will have the opportunity to further develop and apply them.

Findings and outcomes will be used to evaluate and influence the feasibility of future, energy efficient and aerodynamically improved aircraft concepts and will contribute to the development of innovative solutions and methods that have the potential to revolutionise aviation leading to the design of the next generation of sustainable and environmentally friendly aircraft. It will also inform research strategies and technology roadmaps including the development of future test campaigns and flying demonstrators. Furthermore it will further develop novel energy and exergy based aerodynamics methods developed at Cranfield University.

The researcher will work closely with specialists and technology managers of a well known industrial organisation. You will have the opportunity to have industrial placements as well as attend national and international events and conferences and interact with international and European experts working on similar topics. The research and supervisory team at Cranfield have developed world class research capabilities related to the topic along with strong international links that will offer the opportunity to the researcher to interact with leading international experts in the topic.

Contribute to the future of green aviation. Develop novel aerodynamic concepts and analysis methods. Work at the forefront of research in aircraft sustainability . Develop multidisciplinary research and technology skills. Join a world class team. Develop management, presentation, planning, communication and technical skills. Build and develop its own network.

At a glance

  • Application deadline30 Aug 2023
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start date02 Oct 2023
  • Duration of award4 years
  • EligibilityUK
  • Reference numberSATM372


Professor Panos Laskaridis

Dr Drew Sanders

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an equivalent of first or second class UK honours degree in a related discipline or subject area (e.g., electrics, mechanical, mechatronics, and manufacturing,). An MSc or relevant work experience will be beneficial. Knowledge of aerodynamics and CFD will be highly beneficial.


Applicant must be UK nationals £16,000 p.a. for 3.5 years, plus full tuition fees.

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

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

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