Aerospace Engineering: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship

Start date: 1 January or 1 April 2019

Digital Twins for Aircraft Gust Load Alleviation. The subject of this PhD scholarship is the design of passive and active robust control systems for aircraft gust load alleviation using morphing wing tip devices.

In practice, the variability in the structural parameters of aircraft structures and gust loads will be considerable which makes it essential to select the controller parameters in an optimal manner to ensure the reduction of loads even when the nominal conditions change.

Different concepts such as nonlinear springs and unsymmetrical stiffness have been introduced for the morphing winglet. They have been mainly designed to enable higher aspect ratio aircraft with less induced drag.

This PhD project will focus on the development of computational models to enable the design and optimisation of passive and active actuation mechanisms for morphing winglets to alleviate dynamic loads. Robust design methods for the passive/active winglet design will also be developed. Both structural and aerodynamic uncertainties will be considered in the design, and the models will be validated using wind tunnel tests in the Swansea University wind tunnel.

This project is funded by the College of Engineering and linked to the EPSRC Programme Grant on Digital Twins for Improved Dynamic Design. The project has been developed in close collaboration with Airbus at Bristol, and the student will be expected to spend significant time at Airbus. The student will be supervised by Dr Hamed Haddad Khodaparast, Dr Marinos Manolesos and Professor Michael Friswell.


Candidates should have an MEng or equivalent in Aerospace Engineering.

Some knowledge of aeroelasticity and some experience in the aerospace industry would be desirable.

There are no restrictions on nationality of candidates however please note that the scholarship only covers UK/EU tuition fees.


To apply please submit the following documents to Professor Michael I Friswell (

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