The project will build on multi-objective 3D CFD design methodologies now being extended to handle uncertainty quantification and management, and hence design sensitivities, especially for high aspect ratio, flexible wings as part of current MSc and PhD level projects with Airbus; supervised by Dr. Kipouros, and Professor Savill, at Cranfield University. Read more Read less

Multi-disciplinary Optimisation will now be performed for aircraft wing configurations aiming to meet post-2020 performance targets, using a flexible and highly modular integrated design system incorporating multi-fidelity geometry handling and flow solution tools, in conjunction with latest interactive optimisation and visualisation techniques. Initial investigations of multi-level design sensitivities, using interval analysis and other probabilistic analyses, will be extended to consider robust optimisation under uncertainty with the aim of securing multiply robust solutions for more than one multi-disciplinary design sensitivity simultaneously. Surrogate models (specific RBF and other reduced order models) will be used where required to provide the necessary local information for the design space in order to evaluate robustness sensitivity metrics.

The scope of the proposed research is to explore the opportunities for industrially relevant application areas of robust optimisation (i.e. optimisation in the presence of uncertainty) to quantitatively balance optimum aircraft solutions with both the confidence (or risk) of achieving the benefits in the final manufactured design and also the associated risks (and costs) to the design programme associated with “late” re-analysis /re-design of the structure after the flight test validation.

The 3D wing shape, loading and flow evolution, with resulting multi-objective trade-offs will be visualised using latest immersive 3D techniques, together with other multi-dimensional pro-active post-processing methods employing novel parallel coordinates representation approaches.

The PhD project work will be carried out over 3 years by a student who would be expected to spend up to 50% time at Airbus in Filton. The PhD will be funded as an Airbus/Cranfield Industrial Partnership PhD Scheme (CIPPS) studentship at the above stipend rate, together with fees, for UK & European students, and with an allowance for additional travel costs.

At a glance

  • Application deadline01 Aug 2018
  • Award type(s)PhD
  • Duration of award3 years
  • EligibilityUK, EU
  • Reference numberSATM0072

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first-class or upper second-class degree in engineering or a related area. A material science background would be a distinct advantage as would experience of conducting experiment in a laboratory environment as well as mechanical knowledge. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.


Sponsored by Cranfield University and Airbus, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £14,000 p.a.* (tax free) plus fees at current PhD rates for three years.

*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.

About the sponsor

The PhD will be funded as an Airbus/Cranfield Industrial Partnership PhD Scheme (CIPPS)

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, identify opportunities for collaboration and create smaller communities of practice.  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

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form.
For any necessary further information please contact:

Professor Mark Savill,, T: +44 (0)1234 754752