This PhD project is part of a multi-partner Horizon 2020 project on the topic of Future Propulsion and Integration: Towards a Hybrid/Electric Aircraft, named FUTPRINT50. The project aims to accelerate technologies required for the entry-into-service of a commercial hybrid-electric aircraft in a class of up to 50 seats by 2035/40. The key technologies that will be investigated are energy storage, energy harvesting and thermal management. 

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Besides advancing the state-of-the-art of these technologies, research will be performed and open-source aircraft design tools, hybrid-electric aircraft designs and reference datasets will be produced and published. This contribution will be the first of its kind in the state-of-the-art literature in the field of aircraft architecture design 

Develop and integrate technologies and systems for Hybrid Electric Propulsion. Contribute to a sustainable and Zero Net Emissions Aerospace industry. Unique opportunity to be part of one of the major aircraft electrification research programmes worldwide with a total research budget in excess of 7.5 million Euros. 

The project aims to develop a design methodology and a decision-making tool that support set-based multidisciplinary optimisation trade-off studies of hybrid-electric propulsion systems and aircraft architectures.

The successful candidate will join a team of other PhD researchers within the Propulsion Engineering Centre working on aerospace design applications, but also with other researchers within Cranfield that work on FUTPRINT50. The consortium extends beyond Europe comprising 14 partners who are worldwide leaders in aircraft manufacturing, aircraft design, energy storage, energy harvesting, thermal management, and hybrid propulsion systems.

The FUTPRINT50 project will address the societal challenges for smart, green and integrated transport to meet carbon neutral growth goals. This PhD project will produce and contribute an improved Multidisciplinary Design Optimisation (MDO) methods to generate sophisticated and resilient design decisions fast.

The project supports participation to major international conferences and training events. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to become a member of the FUTPRINT50 Academy and collaborate with international universities very closely, as well as with world class leading researchers in industry and research institutions.

The successful candidate will work on state-of-the-art design and decision-making methodologies and tools and will develop technical skills and knowledge that future engineers will need to have in order to meet the FlightPath2050 targets. The student will have the opportunity to network and develop professional relationships with world leading aerospace industries, research institutions, and universities in the field of hybrid-electric aircraft and technology, and propulsion systems.

At a glance

  • Application deadline29 May 2020
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Start dateAs soon as possible
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU
  • Reference numberSATM147

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline. This project would suit applicants who hold MSc degree or have work experience in a relevant area. Knowledge of programming would be beneficial.


To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK or EU national.

About the sponsor

Sponsored by European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and Cranfield University, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £16,000 (tax free) plus fees for three years.

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Research students at Cranfield benefit from being part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and all become valued members of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary environment. It aims to encourage an effective and vibrant research culture, founded upon the diversity of activities and knowledge. A tailored programme of seminars and events, alongside our Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (transferable skills training), provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities.

How to apply

For further information please contact: 

Name: Dr Timoleon Kipouros
T: (0) 1234 750111 Ext: 8237

Apply now