PhD in Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustic Simulation and Design Optimization of Urban Air Mobility Systems at Bristol University

Closing Date
22 October 2022

More info

The project:

With the emergence of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) systems, the aeroacoustic consideration is elevated to center stage in the design process and no longer treated as a design constraint. However, the optimal control settings or shape of a design that correspond to minimal far field noise is typically not known as a priority. This challenge is compounded by the fact that noise and aerodynamic design objectives are often competing. The proposed project aims to numerically investigate, using high-fidelity simulation, the complex noise generation and radiation mechanisms of isolated and installed propeller configurations.

The numerical efforts are complemented by experimental validation. In addition, an efficient adjoint-based optimization framework will be developed to minimize the tonal and broadband noise components of propeller-powered configurations via shape optimization. The baseline and optimized designs will be studied both numerically and experimentally. The outcome of this project is expected to elucidate various important physical mechanisms responsible for UAM noise and provide a critical enabling technology for the UAM community to efficiently predict and minimize the noise from their designs.

Successful candidate will have access to large-scale high performance computing resources on ARCHER2, UK’s largest supercomputing facility.  In addition, the successful candidate will also be offered a rare opportunity to interact and collaborate with major aerospace industry and research establishments around the world.

URL for further information: Bristol Aeroacoustics Team:


How to apply:

To apply for this studentship, submit a PhD application using our online application system

Please ensure that in the Funding section you tick “I would like to be considered for a funding award from the Aerospace Engineering Department” and specify the title of the scholarship in the “other” box below along with the name of the supervisor.  Interested candidates should apply as soon as possible.  Applications will remain open until the position is filled.

Candidate requirements: 

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of a Master’s degree (or international equivalent) in a mathematics or engineering discipline.  Applicants without a Master’s qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of readiness to pursue a research degree.

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:

Profile E

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Basic skills and knowledge required include a strong background in numerical methods.  Experience with programming languages such as C/C++ and Fortran.


Available for UK/EU students (UK settled status) with permanent UK residency covering tuition fees (at the UK student rate) and a tax-free stipend for 3.5 years

For EPSRC funding, students must meet the EPSRC residency requirements.


For questions about the research topic please contact Dr. Beckett Zhou & Prof. Mahdi Azarpeyvand

For questions about eligibility and the application process please contact CAME Postgraduate Research Admissions