Aerospace Engineering: Fully Funded Reaction Engines Ltd PhD Scholarship at Swansea

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 31 March 2020

Aerospace Engineering: Fully Funded Reaction Engines Ltd PhD Scholarship: Development of transonic and supersonic CFD modelling and design optimisation techniques for spaceplanes
This scholarship is funded by Reaction Engines Ltd (REL).
Subject areas: Computational Fluid Dynamics, transonic flow, aerodynamic design and optimisation
This is an exciting opportunity for a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics. The student will work closely with an exciting and pioneering UK aerospace company, Reaction Engines Ltd (REL) whilst gaining experiencing in the state of the art in transonic CFD and computational optimisation methods. This PhD will focus on the development and application of computational aerodynamic optimisation approaches to the design of REL’s Skylon space plane in the transonic flight regime.
The aim of the project will be to develop a novel mesh-based optimisation system that can be used in conjunction with methods developed by Dr Evans \[1\] that can exploit evolutionary algorithms and ‘human in the loop’ optimisation techniques. The project will explore novel methods for integrating complex design constraints into the optimisation process as well as exploring implementations of multi-objective optimisation. Supervision will be provided by Dr Evans and aerodynamics engineers at REL to ensure that outcomes support the ongoing Skylon development programme. The CFD platform that will be used is the FLITE3D CFD system \[2\] used for the design of the Airbus A380 and Bloodhound Land Speed Record car.
The ultimate goal of the project will be to provide REL with a greater understanding of the optimal geometric configuration of winged, reusable launch vehicles as well as delivery of trusted transonic modelling capabilities and optimisation techniques for future work. This is a high impact project that will play a critical role in the design of aerospace vehicles that will be a step-change in global aerospace capabilities.
\1\] D. Naumann, B. Evans, O Hassan, A novel implementation of computational aerodynamic shape optimisation using Modified Cuckoo Search, Applied Mathematical Modelling, 40 (7), 4543-4559 (2015)
2\] B.J. Evans, O. Hassan, J.W. Jones, K. Morgan and L. Remaki, Simulating steady state and transient aerodynamic flows using unstructured meshes and parallel computers, in M.M. Hafez, K. Oshima, D. Kwak (editors), Computational Fluid Dynamics Review 2010, World Scientific, New Jersey, 1-28, 2009
Available resources/facilities: Access to high performance computing resources and relevant CFD software (commercial and ‘in-house’)


Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (completed or predicted) (or its equivalent) in engineering, mathematics, computer science or other relevant discipline.
Candidates should be interested in aerospace engineering and computational methods, and have an aptitude and ability in computational thinking and methods including the ability to write software.
We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements (IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit our website for more information.
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.


Do you wish to become an international student next year?
Demonstrate your English skills with IELTS.


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,285 for four years.

There will be additional funds available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.

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