Postgraduate research project

Development and manufacturability of metamaterials for large shallow cavity noise suppression

Fully funded (UK only)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

This project will focus on studying the design of novel metamaterials for the reduction of aerodynamically induced large shallow cavity self-noise for next generation military aircraft. 

Grazing airflow across large shallow open cavities can create self-sustained oscillations. These produce high levels of acoustic energy, particularly at low frequencies below 150Hz. These present significant design challenges to aircraft structures, systems, and cavity contents. Designing to survive this environment adds significant weight to aircraft structures, increasing fuel usage and reducing performance. 

There is significant potential to reduce cavity noise at source with passive acoustic liner concepts. This will disrupt the efficiency of the acoustic feedback mechanism and absorb sound. However, low frequency liners typically require larger dimensions and mass. 

As a researcher on this project your key aims will be to design novel cavity geometries and to establish the feasibility of using metamaterials to permit efficient low-frequency attenuation in a much-reduced space envelope. You will begin this project by:

  • testing scaled 3D-printed cavities using the ISVR’s Doak Resonance Rig
  • measuring the noise levels generated throughout the cavity at differing flow conditions
  • performing computational aero-acoustic modelling of the flow-induced source

The validated modelling approach will be used to predict the full-scale self-noise source. You will then design and test a range of potential traditional and novel cavity liner designs. You'll be able to take advantage of the proven 3D-printing capability within the University of Southampton. The design of the novel liner structures will be optimised to minimise weight and to enhance transmission loss. The liners must also be able to withstand the static and dynamic loading throughout the life of the aircraft.

You'll join a world-leading research team based within the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) and the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Southampton. This studentship is supported by BAE Systems – Air, who offer a 3-month industrial placement.

This project is planned to start in January 2024.