PhD Studentship: Next-generation low-noise hydrofoil-blade design

University of Southampton - Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Eligibility: UK citizens only

During the last decade, research on aerofoils with wavy (undulated) leading edge (WLE) has been undertaken at the University of Southampton, inspired by the flippers of Humpback whales which are known as one of the most agile underwater creatures in the planet. Various studies have been carried out on this geometry and found that WLEs have significant benefits in both aerodynamic and aeroacoustic performance. The detailed studies revealed that the WLEs improve aerodynamic performance at high incidence angles (stall scenarios) which explains the high agility of Humpback whales; and also, the WLEs have capabilities to reduce flow-induced noise particularly when there is a significant level of flow turbulence impinging on the aerofoil (see  and ). These latest findings provide the background for the proposed PhD project which is aimed at extending the benefits of using the WLEs applied to marine propellers. This project is supported by Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL). One of the primary objectives of this study is to investigate the effect of WLEs on the reduction of the radiated noise of marine propellers. This project also aims to develop a novel prediction model for the radiated noise based on theoretical approaches, which will have a strong relevance to the development and design of the next-generation low-noise hydrofoil blades.

We seek to recruit a candidate with a strong background in aerodynamics and mathematics (ideally First-class Master’s degree) with experience in computer programming. The PhD studentship provides full tuition fees and stipend (at the standard EPSRC level) for 3.5 years. Please note that the studentship is available for UK citizens only (set by DSTL). The selected candidate is expected to work with DSTL at their site (Portsdown West, Hampshire) for up to three months.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Jae-Wook Kim, Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics Research Group at the University of Southampton, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4886, 


This studentship is available for UK citizens only (set by DSTL). The studentship covers home-rate tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.

How to Apply

Click the button below to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

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South East England