Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering PhD Project

Queen's University Belfast


Title: Engineering Modelling Methods to Support Outsourcing Decisions

Project description:

Increasingly aerospace OEMs are system integrators who outsource large elements of system production to risk-sharing partners. Opportunity exists to improve outsourcing decisions by incorporating predictive engineering models in business support tools which can simulate the influence of design on manufacture (and the resultant impact on production time and cost) when managing a complex supply chain.

The aim of this project is to create and demonstrate engineering modelling methods which can support outsourcing decisions, by simulating potential supply chain engineering activities, integrated with logistic and economic models.

The project will be undertaken in partnership will Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast (BAB). The student will work closely with BAB, embedded within its core functions as required by the project phases.  The student will regularly present their research progress to senior BAB staff and he/ she will be expected to visit national and international suppliers and attend relevant conferences worldwide.  It is also expected that the student will develop publications for leading journals in the field.

This PhD project will be included in our Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) in Simulation Intent which brings together complementary expertise to provide a training programme to develop technical knowledge and professional skills, aimed at preparing the students for their career as future engineering leaders

Queens University Belfast is a diverse and international institution which is strongly committed to equality and diversity, and to selection on merit. Currently women are under-represented in research positions in the School and accordingly applications from women are particularly welcome.

Key skills required for the post:

Applicants must have an undergraduate / postgraduate degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or a management degree incorporating significant elements related to at least one of: operations management, production management or supply chain management. Candidates should be able to demonstrate that they are highly motivated, have excellent communication skills, be able to work in a team and undertake challenging tasks across engineering and management based domains using their own initiative. Any experience relevant to manufacturing, engineering modelling or programming would be advantageous.

Key transferable skills that will be developed during the PhD:

This research project will enable the successful student to acquire valuable experience of aerospace procurement and manufacturing, state-of-the-art knowledge on process modelling and advanced skills in aircraft design. The project will use a combination of commercial simulation tools, validating predictive capability against real industrial data.

Training areas for the successful candidate within the DTC will include four domains encompassing; knowledge & intellectual abilities, personal effectiveness, research governance & organisation, engagement influence & impact.

First/Lead Supervisor and their contact details

Dr Adrian Murphy, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4095, Email

Second Supervisor and their contact details:

Dr Joe Butterfield, Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4878, Email

Top up available for this project?

The studentship which is open to UK residents only covers the full university fees and includes an income of up to £18,500 per annum (comprising a £17,000 stipend and the opportunity to undertake teaching and demonstration duties to earn a further 1,500 GBP per annum).

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Northern Ireland