Research Associate in Experimental Flight Dynamics

Bristol, United Kingdom
£33,797- £38,017 per annum
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
End of advertisement period
Thursday, 6 August 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Division/School Faculty of Engineering
Contract type Open Ended
Working pattern Full time
Salary £33,797- £38,017 per annum
Closing date for applications 06-Aug-2020

Based in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Dynamics & Control Research Group, this is an opportunity to engage in and further develop the University’s novel aeroelastic modelling and testing capabilities. The focus of the role is multi-degree-of-freedom wind tunnel testing of highly flexible aircraft models.

The person appointed to this RA role will be part of a small team – within the larger group of researchers in the field of nonlinear dynamics, aeroelasticity and loads – working to gain deeper insight into the flight dynamics of aircraft with highly flexible wings, from both a modelling and a testing perspective.

The three-year project is funded by the EPSRC and will start on 1st Sep. 2020.

The research aims to exploit existing capabilities in modelling of aeroelastics and loads, dynamic wind tunnel testing and nonlinear flight dynamics. It is intended to deliver a new approach to wind tunnel testing capable of revealing the influences of strong coupling between flexible wing aeroelastics and the dynamics of the overall airframe. The objectives include validation and calibration of numerical modelling approaches with experimental outcomes and will also explore the feasibility of incorporating load alleviation concepts.

The research to be conducted in this role will include wind tunnel model design, numerical modelling of the aircraft-rig coupled dynamics, design of novel testing procedures to reveal complex coupled dynamics; interpretation of test results in the context of the project objectives to develop a novel testing approach that can ultimately be scaled for industrial wind tunnel usage, and implementing a simple load alleviation system for the flexible wings. The post-holder will work with a second Research Associate, employed for 50% of the project duration, who will focus principally on the aeroelastic modelling and analysis.

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering with expertise in advanced dynamic wind tunnel testing with flight dynamics applications. This should include a full understanding of similitude issues for sub-scale model aeroelastic tests, expertise in design, construction and operation of complex models with wireless transmission of actuation and sensing signals; and preferably some experience on use of feedback control strategies to obtain desired test scenarios. The candidate should also have a strong background in aeroelasticity and flight dynamics as well as load alleviation, be an effective communicator and team member and excel in conceptualising highly innovative approaches to the research challenge.

It is anticipated that interviews will take place shortly after the closing date.

Informal enquiries can be made to Prof. Mark Lowenberg,

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.