PhD in Data-Driven Modelling and Control of Fluid-Structure Interactions

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant (PhD Studentship) in the Department of Aeronautics in the general area of data-driven modelling and nonlinear control of fluid structure interactions. The successful candidate will join a leading team of researchers at the heart of London, benefit from a European training network, and conduct research in collaboration with civil aviation manufacturer Airbus. The envisaged impact of this fundamental research project is to enable zero-emissions flight of future aircraft, opening opportunities for collaboration with the Department of Aeronautics’ new £25m Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation.

The post (36 months) is funded by the UKRI as part of Imperial College’s role as Associate Partner in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral-Training-Network (DTN) “ModConFlex”. The DTN will host 14 postgraduates across seven European academic institutions, coordinated by the University of Wuppertal, Germany. This project is supervised by Dr Andrew Wynn and Prof. Rafael Palacios and the successful applicant will join Imperial’s Aeroelastics Lab (, which specialises in computational methods for aeroelastic simulation and control of wind turbines and next-generation aircraft.

The research aims to enable nonlinear real-time control of physical systems characterized by strong fluid structure interactions. To achieve this, the project will develop a state-of-the art data-driven framework that can identify nonlinear models of minimal order directly from high fidelity aeroelastic simulations. Additionally, we will create nonlinear control algorithms that exploit the structure of the identified minimal-order models to enable real-time control in nonlinear aeroelasticity. There is potential for field testing of control algorithms with Associated Partner Airbus.

PhD Studentship in Computational Aeroelasticity

Key details:

  • Eligibility:             A relevant connection with the UK, usually established by residence
  • Deadline:             until filled
  • Starting Date:      from October 2022, with some flexibility

This information in PDF: AeroelasticsPhD2203


Applications are invited for a Ph.D. studentship at the Department of Aeronautics on computational aeroelasticity methods to support the development of next-generation greener wings. The scholarship is partially funded by Airbus UK through an EPSRC Industrial CASE Award.

Ambitious efficiency targets to achieve net-zero aviation are driving aircraft designs towards higher-aspect-ratio and, therefore, towards more flexible wings. Such a design ambition demands new analysis methods and processes, as well as innovative airframe concepts. Within that context, this project will investigate new architectures for the outboard part of the wings, which are likely to include movable elements (e.g., a folding wingtip) in future long-range aircraft. The project will make extensive use of the SU2 CFD open-source framework (, for which computational aeroelastic capabilities have been developed at Imperial. The project will also result in new generic methods for multiobjective aeroelastic design.

This PhD project is positioned at the forefront of modelling capabilities for ultra-high-efficient aircraft design and will require an outstanding ability for multidisciplinary thinking. It needs a high level of mathematical abstraction and applicants should possess excellent analytical and computational skills. The student will join Imperial’s Load Control & Aeroelastics Lab, a world-leading centre in numerical methods in aeroelasticity and will have the support by an expert team at Airbus UK.

Applications are invited from candidates with (or who are expected to gain) a first-class honours degree or equivalent in Aerospace Engineering. The studentship is available only to candidates who are UK nationals/residents or with (pre)settled status. Further details on eligibility and about the EPSRC case programme can be found here.  The studentship is for 4 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees, a generous travel budget, and an annual tax-free stipend of circa £18,000.

To learn more about Imperial College, and to apply for this fully funded PhD position, please go to Please include a full CV, a short statement of research interests (not a research project) and contact details of two referees in your application. For further inquiries, you can contact Prof Rafael Palacios via email at

Last update:  3.5.2022