Research Fellow in Aircraft Electrical Systems

Cranfield, United Kingdom
£33,309 per annum
10 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
08 Nov 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

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 15 months
Salary £33,309 per annum
Apply by 08/11/2020

Role Description

Cranfield University and its collaborators in the EnabEl consortium welcome applications from suitably qualified engineers to work on an exciting project to develop, fly and certify two electric microlight aeroplanes.  The project aims to establish a basis for future aeroplane development at all scales in the United Kingdom, and it is hoped further funding will be obtained to extend into subsequent programmes. 

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

EnabEl: Enabling Aircraft Electrification is an 18 month project to build and fly two prototype electric aeroplanes. It is a collaboration between Cranfield University, The Light Aircraft Company, Flylight Airsports and CDO2.  The objective of the project is to develop an understanding in the UK, and between these project partners, of how to achieve electric flight at all levels: not just the aircraft, but airport infrastructure, certification standards, charging systems and flying training.  It is commencing with microlight aeroplanes, but will be seeking follow-on funding to extend into larger and more complex systems if this initial phase is successful.

The position of Research Fellow Aircraft Electrical Systems in the EnabEl project team is a vital one supporting all four organisations in the  creation of two electric microlight aeroplanes.  The position starts 3 months into the 18 month programme and will last to the end of this phase; there is potential that the position will be extended if funding is obtained to extend EnabEl beyond March 2022 towards additional and more ambitious engineering development.

The post holder will support all four partners in the EnabEl consortium and be expected to work across all four sites (Cranfield, Little Snoring, Sywell and Mayfield).  Involvement with engineering design and laboratory work will be routine, as will engagement with aircraft flight testing. 

The main purpose will be development of design paradigms to ensure workable designs for ground testing and on two flight vehicles for two electric aeroplanes.  This will include engagement with internal and external certifying authorities so as to support development of approval codes as well as approval of the aircraft and associated ground equipment themselves.  They will be working within an experienced aircraft development, test and delivery team across the consortium and will be given opportunity to develop their understanding of aircraft design and certification. 

We are looking for an electrical or systems engineer qualified to PhD (or close to completion) in a relevant engineering discipline (or significant equivalent experience in a similar role together with IEng and or/CEng in an appropriate engineering discipline) , with experience of working on the development of electrical systems and a track record of working on projects with critical time and budget delivery requirements.  You must be familiar with the major issues likely to be involved in delivering electric aircraft in a regulated environment, and also have excellent presentation, teamworking and communication skills.  The ideal candidate will also have some experience flying powered aircraft, and experience with brushless motors and their controllers, and either aircraft or electric vehicles. 

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 the Womens Engineering Society & Working Families, and sponsors of International Women in Engineering Day.

We actively encourage applications from eligible candidates from any groups which are underrepresented in engineering and in aviation.

We will 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 Guy Gratton, Associate Professor of Aviation and the Environment, via