PhD Studentship in Aerial Robotics

Imperial College London - Department of Aeronautics

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship on stability and control of miniature flapping-wing aircraft within the Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London.

An upcoming theme in the area of aerial robotics is the development of bio-inspired solutions to improve the performance and capabilities of unmanned aircraft. Flapping flight is one such solution, intended to improve propulsive efficiency as well as manoeuvrability at small length scales. Civilian applications include monitoring of critical infrastructure, and intelligent search and rescue operations.

The goal of the PhD studentship is to understand the stability characteristics of flapping-wing aircraft using tools from dynamical systems theory. The research would lie at the interface of applied mathematics, physics and traditional aeronautics. It would require first-principles modelling, theoretical and numerical stability analysis, as well as model-based control design.

The student will be encouraged to validate the analytical results through flight tests, including on custom-built aerial robots if necessary. The student will be expected to acquire and demonstrate a wide range of theoretical, analytical and experimental skills covering the areas of aerodynamics, flight dynamics, nonlinear systems theory and control systems.

The project will directly benefit from outstanding facilities, including a Vicon-equipped flight arena, 13 wind/water tunnels and the rapid prototyping and composite fabrication centre at the Aeronautics Department. Applicants should have an MSc/MEng (or equivalent) in Aeronautical Engineering, Physics or Applied Mathematics. Preference may be given to applicants with a strong background in dynamical systems theory.

“Funding is available for UK and EU citizens. The studentship is for 3.5 years starting as soon as possible and will provide full coverage of tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of approximately £16,296.”

Applications will be assessed as received and all applicants should follow the standard College application procedure (

Informal enquiries and requests for additional information for this post can be made to: Dr Aditya A. Paranjape via email:

To apply, please go to

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Ms. Lisa Kelly by email at

Closing date for applications: Open until filled 

Start Date: As soon as possible 

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena Bronze SWAN Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Two Ticks Employer.

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