PhD Studentship: Advanced Fault Diagnosis for Aircraft Fuel System

Cranfield University

Funding for: Self-funded Students

Duration of study: Full Time- three years fixed term

Start date: October 2016 (ideally, or as soon as possible)

Application deadline: Ongoing until a suitable candidate is identified

Interview date: To be confirmed

Supervisors: Dr Zakwan Skaf and Prof Ian Jennions

Project information

Aircraft fuel systems are becoming more complex; this complexity introduces additional interdependencies between components and systems. Therefore, fault detection and isolation are becoming harder. Also, there is an increasing demand in aerospace sector on enhancing reliability, maintainability, and readiness of aircraft fuel systems. Therefore, the IVHM Centre built a new fuel system rig represents the fuel system of a modern aircraft and consists of a number of pumps, pipes, valves and tanks representing those on the aircraft to address the required demands from the aerospace domain.

This PhD project will focus on developing, evaluating, and demonstrating advanced fault diagnosis solution to a new laboratory scale aircraft fuel system test-rig to enhance reliability, maintainability and readiness of the aircraft fuel system.

The student will have the opportunity to work with experts in the fault diagnosis and condition monitoring field, as well as being part of our strong and dynamic research centre at Cranfield University.

About the host University/Centre

The Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Centre is a major collaborative venture at Cranfield, started in 2008, with funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA); a consortium of core industrial partners, (Boeing, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Meggitt, Thales, MOD and Alstom); and from EPSRC. The investment, over the first 5 years of operation, was approaching £10M. We are now in our eighth year of operation and the Centre has grown into other sectors (rail, energy, health and agriculture), and is financially self-sustaining; many of the partners (and others) are funding Applied Research projects and there is a growing revenue from EPSRC, TSB and EU funded work

Entry requirements:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area (e.g. aerospace, automotive, mechanical, electrical, chemical, computing, and manufacturing) with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study.
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 6.5).

Also, the candidate is expected to:

  • Have excellent analytical, reporting and communication skills
  • Be self-motivated, independent and team player
  • Be genuine enthusiasm for the subject and technology
  • Have the willing to publish research findings in international journals 


This studentship is available to all UK/EU and International students.

How to apply:

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

Enquiries may be addressed to: 

Before completing the application documentation please contact Dr Zakwan Skaf for an initial informal discussion about this opportunity. Please include the keyword PhD Studentship-Self Funding in the subject field.

For further information contact us today:
T: 44 (0)1234 758008

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