PhD in control of space launcher vehicles

University of Nottingham

In atmospheric flight, launcher movements are impacted by disturbances, such as propulsion and atmospheric forces (from aerodynamics and wind gusts), mass asymmetries and system misalignments. All those perturbations are contributing to the vehicle loads and deformation and subsequent payload oscillations. These effects could have highly detrimental effects on the performance of the launcher up to a possible loss of the vehicle. The first objective of the PhD is the development of new methods and tools to assess the robust performance of the launcher control system during a launch trajectory. The second objective is to extend the developed analysis methods to design innovative controller schemes for launchers. It is expected that the prospective student will work closely with the European Space Agency.

The PhD studentship will cover full university tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at the rate of £14,296 per annum, for the duration of the project for UK/EU students. The studentship is expected to start any time in 2016.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr. Harald Pfifer, tel: 0115 84 68491 or Email:

Formal applications can be made online through the University website:

Early application is strongly encouraged.

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Midlands of England