A new airplane configuration that is currently being studied is the Flying V. With a 20% fuel-burn reduction, this new airplane configuration could yield a step-change in energy efficiency of long-haul aircraft. Building on previous research, a boundary-layer-ingestion (BLI) intake is proposed for this airplane. The proposed intake has a carry-through structure that allows the turbofan to be hung from a crane beam. This proposed integration solution has less wetted area and allows the engine to be easily exchanged by maintenance crew. However, as it ingests the boundary-layer of the upstream wing, distortion at the fan face is present. The resulting vibrations from fan distortion impacts the fatigue properties as well as the structure-borne noise in the passenger cabin. The goal of this PhD project is to assess the effect of fan distortion resulting from boundary-layer ingestion on structural vibrations in the airframe.
This research is part of the Smart Flying V project, which is an internally-funded project from the AWEP and Aerospace Structures and Materials departments of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. The goal of this project is to investigate various aspects of the Flying V including its aeroelastic behaviour, propulsion integration, hydrogen storage, and the application of morphing control surfaces. The Smart Flying V project itself is part of a larger ongoing research program into various aspects of the Flying V. Within the Flying V program, strong collaboration exists with partners from industry, including Airbus and KLM. The section Flight Performance and Propulsion as well as the section Aerospace Structures and Computational Mechanics are supporting the research defined herein. Expertise on boundary-layer ingestion, aerodynamic analysis, and structural dynamics are present within the supervisory team.
The goal of this PhD research is to improve our understanding of the relation between boundary-layer ingestion and structural vibrations. While the dominant test-case of this study will be the Flying V, the fundamental aspects of aerodynamics and structural dynamics are key in this research. To study this interaction, the following activities are envisioned to take place within this study:
- Generate a representative aerodynamic geometry of a boundary-layer-ingestion intake and fan. Define the aerodynamic boundary conditions.
- Estimate the dynamic loads and vibrations on the fan blades stemming from the distortion at the fan face.
- Investigate the effect of inflow conditions and fan speed on the dynamic loads spectrum
- Generate a representative structural geometry of the engine support structure and the fan blades
- Estimate the vibrational loads stemming from the dynamically loaded fan blades on the engine support structure
- Estimate the effect of vibrational loads on the structure-borne noise and fatigue properties of the structure
All of these activities are to be performed in a simulation environment. No physical experiments are part of this study. However, validation of numerical simulations is to be performed by using experimental data. Furthermore, dissemination of the research results should be done through conference presentations/papers as well as journal articles in well-established scientific journals.
Apart from the research tasks, the candidate is required take classes as part of the Doctoroal Education program of Delft University of Technology. Furthermore, the candidate would perform education-related activities to support staff members.
We are looking for applicants that are passionate about research in aerodynamics and structures. Creativity is important in finding solutions to problems that arise as well as the ability to take initiative when needed. The PhD candidate will have the responsibility for the proper planning and execution of the research and therefore being able to organize yourself is also important. Finally, as the research results need to be disseminated verbally and in written form, we are looking for applicants with a good proficiency in English as well as proof of good writing skills.
The applicant should be in the possession of an MSc degree (or equivalent) in the field of Aerospace Engineering or a related field. Furthermore, she/he should be proficient in the fundamentals of aerodynamics and structural dynamics. Experience with numerical simulation of aerodynamic flows and/or structural vibrations is considered an asset. Also, having experience with the modelling of geometry in a CAD program is deemed beneficial for the application.
- An MSc degree in Aerospace Engineering or related field
- A combination of good analytical skills and programming skills to use tools such as ANSYS CFX, ANSYS Fluent, MSC NASTRAN, Python, and CATIA
- Ability to take responsibility for achieving research goals
- Ability to perform research independently
- Proficiency in the English language
- Demonstrated academic writing skills
Conditions of employment
TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.
TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)
Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.
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Faculty Aerospace Engineering
The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.
The Department of Aerodynamics, Wind Energy, Flight Performance and Propulsion (AWEP) is one of four departments composing the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering. Experimental and numerical research on a wide variety of topics is performed in the Aerodynamics section. In the Flight Performance and Propulsion (FPP) section the main research areas are: aircraft design, propulsion system design as well as propulsion integration. Additionally, wind energy systems, from small wind turbines to large, offshore installations, are the research areas in the Wind Energy section. The department has access to comprehensive laboratories, equipped with modern wind tunnels and state-of-the-art measurement systems. Furthermore, a computer cluster is available for numerical simulations on complex aerodynamic and physical problems.
Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.
For information about this vacancy, you can contact Roelof Vos, email: R.Vos@tudelft.nl, tel. +31(0)15 27 85643
Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 1-7-2021 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.
- A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
- Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
- You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.