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Postgraduate research project

High-fidelity adjoint-based aero-structural optimisation

Competition funded
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Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
first-class honours degree
(View full entry requirements)
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Join our Aerodynamics and flight mechanics research group and guide your career through a diverse set of novel, open-ended problems with multidisciplinary teams.

We are looking for someone to develop innovative solutions to revolutionise the design, analysis, and optimisation of aircraft. We need driven, creative thinkers to help engineer solutions to current outstanding challenges in aircraft multi-disciplinary design optimisation. You will work on this PhD studentship on high-fidelity adjoint-based aero-structural optimisation of aircraft wings.

While many different architectures and algorithms can be used to solve a given optimisation problem, the choice of the architecture has a significant influence on both the computational time and the final design. The engineer may be prevented from using alternative discipline solvers, originally not included in the initial optimisation framework.

To overcome these practical challenges, this project addresses high-fidelity adjoints-based design optimisation using a novel optimisation architecture based on the Individual Discipline Feasible. The Individual Discipline Feasible is a monolithic approach to the optimisation problem, where the different disciplines are optimised together in a unified framework, but without any direct coupling. This aspect is used for cases where an interface between the disciplines is difficult or impossible to implement, such as in an industrial environment, or when it significantly increases the computational cost of each coupled analysis.

This project uses three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics for flow predictions for example, SU2, and Nastran for complex, finite element models for the structure. The expected contribution and novelty of this project is the implementation of a different architecture in the context of aero-structural optimisation, enabling the demonstration on industrially relevant aircraft problems.

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