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Post Doctoral Fellow, Aerospace Engineering

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Closing date
28 Feb 2026

General Details

Position Code: 8800971
Position Type:
 Project Based (Fixed Term)
Position Duration: 01/Jan/2024 to 31/DEC/2024
Position Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow
Project Title: Drone Aerodynamics and Wake Interactions: Towards Urban Air Mobility
Project Supervisor: Dr. Roberto Sabatini (lead), Full Professor,, Dr. Alessandro Gardi (co-lead), Assistant Professor,
Funding source: 8474000555 / RIG-2023-024
Academic Department: Aerospace Engineering
Relevant Research Center:
Technical Keywords:
 Flight Dynamics, UTM, Wake Turbulence, Drone Aerodynamics

About Khalifa University

Khalifa University is ranked 181st in the QS World University Rankings 2023, and the top University in the UAE, with a range of research and academic programs designed to address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challenges facing our rapidly evolving world.

Its world-class faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities provide an unparalleled learning experience to students from the UAE and around the world. Our research and academic activities cover a broad range of disciplines in engineering, science and medicine through our three colleges.

Khalifa University’s research relates to key focus sectors of relevance to the UAE’s strategic economic growth and the technology platforms that serve as foundations for these sectors. The University’s research priorities are addressed in two categories  “verticals” and “horizontals” which jointly cover specific industry and sector needs, technical platforms and expertise.

KU’s focus sectors are Clean and Renewable Energy, Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production, Water and Environment, Healthcare, Aerospace, and Supply Chain and Logistics. Research in these sectors is enhanced by our research platforms of Robotics, AI and Data Science, Information and Communication Technologies, and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing as well as Fundamental Sciences.

Position Overview

KU is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Fellow with an expertise in flight dynamics modelling and Sense-and-Avoid (SAA) systems to work on the modelling of hazardous turbulence phenomena in dense Urban Air Mobility (UAM) scenarios and the adaptation of such models for integration in airborne systems for maintaining flight safety in a variety of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS). This is an exciting opportunity to join the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Khalifa University and work on key contemporary challenges related to Flight Systems Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E). Specific responsibilities include:

  • development of ROM approximating the behaviour of atmospheric boundary layer and wake turbulence (WT and ABLT) phenomena in the targeted array of conditions and determination of regions where wind gradients exceed what can be compensated by the UAS flight control system;
  • derivation of mathematical model to integrate ABLT and WT hazards with the other factors involved in representative in-flight encounters (particularly, navigation and tracking uncertainties as well as relative dynamics);
  • development of robust guidance laws to steer the UAS away from the calculated ABLT and WT avoidance volumes, including their inflations for navigation and tracking uncertainties and relative dynamics;
  • conduct an array of experiments to verify that the developed ROM ABLT and WT models, their associated avoidance volumes and the guidance algorithms allow the UAS to maintain altitude and control by navigating close to the hazards.
  • As part of the project, the researcher will have access to state-of-the-art research equipment and facilities and will work alongside researchers and graduate students from various backgrounds as part of a wider team.

Position Requirements

  • Conduct research, modelling and test activities in the field of flight dynamics and GNC for UAS and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) applications, consistently with the expectations of the research project.
  • Integrate effectively and participate in the activities of the research group under the guidance of the advisor, ethically and responsibly, fostering a culture of robust team-working, respect, collegiality and inclusion, and yielding measurable outcomes including high-quality journal and conference publications and attracting industry/government funding.

Should you require further assistance or if you face any issue with the online application, please feel to contact the Recruitment Team (

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