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PhD Studentship in Heritage Aircraft Design and Aerodynamics for Conservation and Low-Carbon Transport

The Open University - The School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences (LHCS)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Milton Keynes
Funding amount: Stipend: £18,622 per year (2023/24 rate, indexed annually)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 20th February 2024
Closes: 26th February 2024
Reference: PHD/LHCS/AIRCRAFT
 

Supervisory team: Dr Simon Collinson, Dr James Bowen and Dr Helen Lockett (The Open University), Jean Munn (Shuttleworth Collection)

Start October 2024

Project summary 

This project is made up of two interlinked work packages. In the first work package, with The Shuttleworth Collection, one of the world’s largest collections of early 20th Century aircraft, the project will consider how the innovative features which enabled these pioneering aircraft to fly may be applied to 21st Century aircraft. Particular emphasis will be placed on mass and materials of construction, specific power and specific energy, as well as the carbon cost associated with manufacture and maintenance. Using computational fluid dynamics and multiphysics simulations, three-dimensional digital models will be developed, enabling the lessons learned from the aerodynamic performance of these vintage aircraft to be applied to modern electric aircraft designs. 

In a second work package the project will also develop a practical and theoretical understanding of how fabric-covered wooden frames age under different environmental conditions. Light and humidity are of particular importance, as are the conditions to which airworthy heritage aircraft are exposed during airshows. These natural materials tend to become brittle and less elastic as they age, and candidate conservation techniques can be tested and analysed using accelerated ageing protocols. There will be the opportunities to access data at the Shuttleworth Collection. 

Further information

This three-year research studentship is funded by the EPSRC within the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at The Open University and provides a stipend of £18,622 per year (2023/24 rate, indexed annually) and all academic fees are covered.

The project is supervised at the OU by Dr Simon Collinson, Dr James Bowen and Dr Helen Lockett. The student would be required to live in the UK and within commuting distance of The Open University in Milton Keynes.

Applicants will be expected to have a good undergraduate degree (upper second class or higher) in chemistry, materials science, mechanical engineering or a related discipline.

This project will be well-suited to candidates who:

  • Have experience in interdisciplinary research or working with non-HE organisations
  • Have experience in, or are open to learning, the analysis and modelling of materials.

Informal enquiries relating to the project should be directed to Simon Collinson simon.collinson@open.ac.uk, James Bowen james.bowen@open.ac.uk or Helen Lockett.

How to Apply

Please click 'Apply’ to be redirected to our website, where you can send an email with your CV, a completed application form and a personal statement (max. 2 pages outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your relevant research experience to date) to STEM-LHCS-PHD@open.ac.uk

You can find more information in the following link: http://www.open.ac.uk/science/life-health-chemical-sciences/phd-studentships-vacancies

Prove your English language abilities with a secure English language test (SELT) 

Where a student neither comes from one of the countries listed in Table 1 or has a degree from one of the countries listed in Table 2 they will have to pass one of the Home Office approved English language tests, at an approved test centre. See further information here. We recommend an IELTS SELT Consortium test.

Closing Date: 26 February, 2024 - 17:00

Interview date: Online Interviews will be arranged promptly after the closing date.

LHCS holds Athena Swan Bronze Status. We promote diversity in employment and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

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