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PhD In Flow Control Through Acoustic Excitation To Improve Future Aero Engine Performance

Cranfield University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Cranfield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £18,000 per annum (tax free) depending on qualifications, plus full tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th December 2018
Closes: 28th February 2019
Reference: SATM0089

Application Deadline: 28th February
Qualification type: PhD
Start Date: ASAP
Eligibility: UK, EU
Duration of award: 3 years
Ref: SATM0089
Supervisors: Prof Vassilios Pachidis and Mr Stavros Vouros 


Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship within the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Aero Systems Design, Integration & Performance at Cranfield University, in the field of acoustic excitation and flow control. 

Project overview:

This PhD investigates the effects of acoustic excitation on high Reynolds number boundary layer flows, and the potential to improve the performance of future aero engines through flow control via acoustic excitation. This research programme spans for 3 years and is in close collaboration with Rolls-Royce.

Present civil aero engine components, such as intakes or low pressure compression systems, suffer from flow separation during various operating states across the flight envelope. Fundamental studies on flat plates and low-camber aerofoils have recognised that active flow control can be achieved via the re-energisation of separated boundary layers utilising acoustic waves of appropriate frequency and amplitude. This project will involve the quantification of the effects of any existing acoustic excitations on the performance of aero engine components, and will attempt to determine forced excitation requirements as a means of active flow control in gas turbine applications. The study will include amongst other: 

  • Fundamental research on the effects of acoustic excitation on shear flow characteristics.
  • Development of reduced- and/or high-order models to quantify the impact of existing acoustic excitation on the performance of engine components of interest (intake, low pressure compression system, other).
  • Development of reduced- and/or high-order models to identify any potential benefits on engine performance arising from the active control of separated flows via forced acoustic excitation.
  • It is anticipated that the work will involve small-scale experimental investigations. 

The UTC is hosted by the Centre for Propulsion Engineering at Cranfield, testimony of the Centre’s global visibility and extensive links with industry. The UTC is the cornerstone of Cranfield’s relationship with Rolls-Royce, acting also as a supporting ‘pillar’ to the new Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC) at Cranfield (a £35M partnership between Rolls-Royce, AIRBUS, HEFCE and Cranfield). It currently enrols more than 6 Senior Academics (at Professorial and Senior Lecturer level), 5 Lecturers, 15 Research Fellows, 15 PhD students and 40 MSc students from the Centre’s Thermal Power MSc course.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have a first-class or upper second-class degree in engineering or a related area. A background in fluid mechanics, CFD and/or aero-acoustics would be a distinct advantage, as would experience in conducting experiments in a laboratory environment. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.


Sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc through an industrial EPSRC CASE award, this studentship will provide a full bursary for 3 years up to £18,000 per annum (tax free) depending on qualifications, plus full tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

*To be eligible for this full funding, applicants must be a UK or EU national. We require that applicants are under no restrictions regarding how long they can stay in the UK.

How to apply:

For further information please contact: 
Prof Vassilios Pachidis

T: (0) 1234 750111 Ext: 4663

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