PhD in Novel Methods for the Characterisation of Helicopter Aero-acoustics – Cranfield University

Cranfield University, UK

Closing Date
31 July 2022

More info

Fee status of eligible applicants: UK national only – Subject to person clearance by DSTL

Duration of Award : Four (4) years (iCASE Award)

1st Supervisor: Dr Ioannis Goulos

Cranfield University has been at the forefront of rotorcraft research for the last 13 years, having an established track record on rotorcraft modelling, performance, aero-mechanics, and aero-acoustics. This PhD studentship is within the Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University, in the field of helicopter aerodynamic and aero-acoustic modelling. The work will develop and deliver rapid analysis capability, which can assist with the prediction of noise characteristics throughout the vehicle design and service-life. This will be accomplished through the development of a novel tool for the rapid source noise prediction of integrated helicopter-engine systems.

Current methods for the aero-acoustic characterisation of rotary-wing vehicles are based on the generation of acoustic hemi-spheres using either experimental means, or high-fidelity numerical methods. Both of these approaches are inherently unsuitable for preliminary design as the platform is not mature enough to populate high-fidelity methods or to develop physical models for testing. The analysis required to generate the acoustic hemispheres at vehicle level is further complicated by the any aerodynamic interactions between the rotors. With regards to helicopters, which this work focuses on, these aerodynamic interactions are due to the main rotor wake impinging on the tail rotor for certain operating conditions that depend on vehicle design characteristics.

The proposed project aims to build a Reduced Order Model (ROM) capable of synthesising the noise hemispheres as functions of pertinent vehicle design parameters and operating conditions. A novel computational framework will be developed for helicopter noise hemisphere generation by integrating a series of validated Cranfield tools for rotor aero-mechanics and acoustics.

This PhD work will be sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Defence and Science Laboratory (DSTL) in the UK. DSTL is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) providing world class expertise and delivering cutting-edge science and technology.

It is expected that the derived modelling approach will enhance DSTL’s predictive capability in terms of helicopter aero-acoustic characterisation during the stages of preliminary design and service life.

This PhD opportunity includes funding for the successful applicant to present their work in national and international conferences. The successful applicant will also be invited for at least one 3-month placement at DSTL to work alongside propulsion, aerodynamics and rotorcraft performance specialists at the Portsdown West site.

Entry requirements

Applicants must have a first-class or upper second-class degree in engineering or a related area. An aerospace background would be a distinct advantage, as would experience on aerodynamics and numerical modelling.


To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK national only. Eligibility is also subject to person clearance by DSTL.

Sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Defence and Science Laboratory (DSTL), this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £15,609 (tax free) plus fees* for four years

How to apply

For further information please contact:

Name: Dr Ioannis Goulos


If you are eligible to apply for this studentship, please complete the online application form on our webpage

Posted on 8th April 2022 in Job Opportunities in Acoustics