PhD studentship to conduct research in Electric Power Systems for future Hybrid-Electric Regional Aircraft

Closing Date
Wednesday, 15th December 2021

Applications are invited for a fully funded full-time PhD studentship to conduct research in Electric Power Systems for future Hybrid-Electric Regional Aircraft.

With the general trend towards more sustainable, environmentally friendly transportation, future aircrafts will become significantly electrified, shifting the balance between different types of energy used by onboard systems towards greener and more efficient electrical one. This trend, known as More-Electric Aircraft (MEA), leads to a significant increase of electric power demand onboard and makes the electric power system (EPS) the backbone of future aircraft. Looking ahead, further and even more radical increase in airborne electric energy usage, above few MW level for regional aircraft, is expected from partial or even full electrification of propulsive power within the next generation of MEA technology (hybrid-electric and full-electric). Such a substantial increase of power level requires reconsideration of many EPS principles in order to guarantee safe and reliable flight.

In this PhD project, the successful candidate will investigate potential EPS architectures suitable for implementation in a hybrid-electric regional aircraft. The project will start with the analysis of state-of-the-art and identifying potential solutions, innovative ideas for potential exploitation in onboard EPS, and associated technological challenges. Based on these, potential architectural solutions will be proposed. Through intensive modelling, the proposed EPS paradigms are to be investigated in order to identify the most promising solutions that meet a set of predefined criteria. The developed models should be able to integrate all the main EPS components foreseen to be commercially available and certified within next 10-15 years, including sources of electric power (conventional and unconventional), power electronic conversions, power distribution and protections, energy storages, typical loads (e.g., propulsion drives, actuators, environmental controls), and overall EPS control logic. The models will need to be representative of key electrical performances, but also will include other domains such as efficiency, weight, power density, volume etc. Based on these models, the proof of proposed EPS concept will be derived, and the key power requirements, achievable steady-state and transient performances, power quality and stability conditions will be demonstrated. Finally, the models will need to be integrated into a Digital Twin platform for overall assessment of future aircraft under development.

The candidate will develop a wide range of knowledge and skills in the fast-developing area of airborne electric power systems, which will be widely applicable to the candidate future career. This project is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the Leonardo Company, the lead regional aircraft developer and manufacturer, therefore the candidate will have a distinctive opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies within unique academia-industry research environment.

Due to funding restrictions this opportunity is only open to Home Students.

For any enquiries, please contact

Please apply here 

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent directly to the academic advertising the studentship.