Research Assistant or Fellow in Gas Turbine Sub-idle Performance Simulation

Cranfield, Bedford
16 Jul 2020
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Organisation Cranfield University
School/Department School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing
Based at Cranfield Campus, Cranfield, Bedfordshire
Hours of work 37 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday. Flexible working will be considered.
Contract type Fixed term contract
Fixed Term Period 12 months
Salary Research Assistant: £24,739 to £28,338 per annum or Research Fellow: £33,309 to £37,127 per annum
Posted Date  15/07/2020
Apply by  15/08/2020

Role Description

We welcome applications from those interested in an exciting opportunity as a Research Assistant or Research Fellow, with a good background in  Gas Turbine engine performance modelling and simulation. You will be joining an exciting, vibrant team involved in cutting edge research and teaching provision.

As the UK’s only exclusively postgraduate university, Cranfield’s world-class expertise, large-scale facilities and unrivalled industry partnerships is creating leaders in technology and management globally.  Our distinctive expertise is in our deep understanding of technology and management and how these work together to benefit the world.

Our people are our most valuable resource and everyone has a role to play in shaping the future of our university, developing our learners, and transforming the businesses we work with. Learn more about Cranfield and our unique impact here. Our shared, stated values help to define who we are and underpin everything we do: Ambition; Impact; Respect; and Community. Find out more here.

The School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing (SATM) is a leading provider of postgraduate level engineering education, research and technology support to individuals and organisations. At the forefront of aerospace, manufacturing and transport systems technology and management for over 70 years, we deliver multi-disciplinary solutions to the complex challenges facing industry.  For further information please visit our website using the following link:

The Centre for Propulsion Engineering, within SATM at Cranfield, has a strong track record in power plant modelling and performance simulation research. Research activities in the past 50 years, on gas turbine applications in power and propulsion, cover virtually every aspect of the field, such as steady-state and transient performance simulation, diagnostics, novel cycles, engine control, advanced simulation methods and integration. Extensive participation in various EU and UK based projects has strengthened and established the Centre as a key contributor to path breaking research while acquiring a peripheral view of the emergence of new technologies in the field. Propulsion Engineering Centre staff also run a large and extremely successful international activity embracing applied research, industrial short courses and leading MSc and PhD programmes. The Centre is also host to the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Aero Systems Design, Integration & Performance, testimony of the Centre’s global visibility and extensive links with industry.

This vacancy sits with the Gas Turbine Engineering Group within the Centre for Propulsion Engineering. The group is placed between academia and industry and carries out research with a strong scientific and industrial relevance. The core competence of the Group is its ability to undertake detailed modelling studies and performance simulations involving aero-thermo, multi-disciplinary models to improve and extend our understanding of power plant and related systems performance within, but also at the edges, of the operating envelope. There is also a large experimental activity supported by key industrial partners. Successful candidates will be expected to engage strongly with the Rolls-Royce UTC at Cranfield and interact with Industry contacts.

For further information relating to the Centre for Propulsion Engineering, please follow the link below.

You will support the Clean Sky 2 Joint Technology Initiative programme PROTEUS, recently awarded to the Centre for Propulsion Engineering. Project PROTEUS (PeRformance & Operability of Turbofan Engines Under Sub-idle) focuses on the research and development of new methods and simulation tools to understand and predict the idle and sub-idle performance of the next generation of large civil aero engines. Project PROTEUS (PeRformance & Operability of Turbofan Engines Under Sub-idle) focuses on the research and development of new methods and simulation tools to understand and predict the idle and sub-idle performance of the next generation of large civil aero engines. Work will focus on the characterisation of the performance of key engine components at idle and sub-idle conditions using high-fidelity models and simulations along with validation against experimental data provided by the Topic Manager (Rolls-Royce plc). Results from the higher-order simulations will be subsequently reduced into appropriate 0D (or 1D) component characteristics for rapid whole-engine performance analyses. This will enable sub-idle considerations to be included in the initial phase of the engine’s preliminary design. The toolset envisaged will be matured to TRL6 through validation against test data collected from the UltraFan™ demonstrator program.

We are seeking a confident and independent researcher, with experience in project management. You will primarily work on the transient aero/thermodynamic performance analysis of aero gas-turbine engines with particular focus on sub-idle, ground start and altitude relight performance. This will involve the further development of existing methods and tools and the transfer of those into Rolls-Royce. You will join an existing, supportive team of 1 Professor, 2 Research Fellows and 1 PhD student. 

You will help supervise postgraduate MSc students supporting related research activities and interact with other members of staff within the UTC. This position may require spending extended periods of time in Rolls-Royce Derby and/or Bristol. This position also requires;  

  • Knowledge of gas turbine performance and operation & experience in engine performance simulation
  • Knowledge of aerodynamics (internal or external, e.g. compressor, intake, nozzle, engine nacelle modelling and performance assessment) & experience in CFD modelling
  • Practical application of gas turbine and systems performance simulation techniques and modelling

As Research Assistant you will hold an MSc degree (or close to completion) relevant to Gas Turbine technology.

As Research Fellow you will be educated to Doctorate level (or close to completion) and you will also have growing experience of leading Research Activities and a developing track record of publishing in high quality journals.

In return, the successful applicant will have exciting opportunities for career development in this key position, and to supportworld leading research and education, joining a supportive team and environment.

At Cranfield we value Diversity and Inclusion, and aim to create and maintain a culture in which everyone can work and study together harmoniously with dignity and respect and realise their full potential. To further demonstrate our commitment to progressing gender diversity in STEM, we are members of WES & Working Families, and sponsors of International Women in Engineering Day.

Our equal opportunities and diversity monitoring has shown that women and  minority ethnic groups are currently underrepresented within the university and so we actively encourage applications from eligible candidates from these groups.

We actively consider flexible working options such as part-time, compressed or flexible hours and/or an element of homeworking, and commit to exploring the possibilities for each role. Find out more here.

For an informal discussion, please contact Prof Vassilios Pachidis, Professor of Propulsion Integration Engineering on (T); +44 (0)1234 75 4663;  (E)

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