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The University of Southampton
EngineeringPostgraduate study

SES-74-156 PhD Studentship : Forming of Airbus Wing Structures

Airbus is the world's leading civil aircraft manufacturer whose customer focus, commercial know-how, technological leadership and manufacturing efficiency have propelled it to the forefront of the industry. Airbus's modern and comprehensive product line comprises highly successful families of aircraft ranging from 107 to 525 sets: the single-aisle A320 family, the wide-body long range A330/A340 and the all-new next generation A350 XWB family, and the ultra long-range, double-decker A380 family.

Airbus in the UK is responsible for the design, manufacture and assembly of all Airbus wings.  The site in Filton, Bristol is responsible for the design and testing of wing aerostructure, landing gear and systems, and research and technology, whilst Broughton near Chester is responsible for component manufacture and wing assembly.

Current aircraft families require aluminium alloys stringers to be machined and formed to support the aerodynamic profile of the wing shape as well as strengthen the wingbox structure.  The stringers are elongated parts of the wing that stretch from the wing root to the wing tip and can be up to 19 m long.  The current manufacturing process is labour intensive and the aim of the project is to automate the current process.

The PhD/EngD project would investigate alternative possibilities for automating the forming of these aluminium stringers.  This work would encompass understanding and influencing future wing design, manufacture and assembly technology and materials. 

Airbus is keen to get a very high calibre individual and will be providing a generous top-up to the bursary.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Marco Starink or Prof James Scanlan CED research group, Email: or Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 5094 or 2369.

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