Research Studentship in Closed Loop Flow Control for Aeroengines

EPSRC Industrial CASE Studentship with Rolls-Royce

4-year D.Phil. studentship

Supervisor: Dr Marko Bacic and Prof Peter Ireland

This studentship is being jointly offered by the University of Oxford and Rolls-Royce under the EPSRC Industrial CASE award scheme. Future Ultra High Bypass Ratio aero-engine designs will have shorter thinner intakes that present challenges for fan operability, will have highly loaded compressors that may require active stability management, and turbines that require adaptable cooling systems to trade between fuel burn performance and life.  All of these problems require some form of air modulation across varying time scales from seconds through to 100 microseconds. To achieve this requires flow control devices that can be made reliable in the harsh environment presented by the above examples.

Promising research in plasma and piezo fluidic valves for flow control carried out at Osney Thermofluids Institute offers the opportunities for deployment of these devices in both hot and cold end gas turbine applications outlined above. Building on the previous research this project will research novel configurations of piezo-fluidic valves that can be used for fan intake and S-duct applications. This DPhil studentship is suitable for somebody who is interested in working on the interface between fluid dynamics and control engineering, and is keen to get involved in the experimental demonstration of their research. Studies will include

  • Fundamental research in the physics of piezo actuated fluidic amplifiers
  • Research in the application of established control theory for closed loop control of fluids
  • Wind tunnel experiments evaluating performance and practicalities of inlet flow control for fan intake/S-duct applications


This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Technology (CASE) Award Scheme and is open to both UK students (full award – fees plus stipend) and EU students (partial award – fees only). Full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements can be found here.

Award Value

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students, as are Oxford college fees (c. £7,730 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) will be c. £14,777 p.a. minimum for the first year, and at least this amount for a further three years.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree or equivalent in Engineering or Physics with advanced courses in either fluid dynamics and/or control systems
  • Evidence of experimental work in either fluid dynamics or control engineering
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Ability to program in Matlab
  • Experience of ANSYS Fluent or similar CFD software package
  • Experience of National Instruments LabVIEW

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Dr Marko Bacic.

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote ENGTH_MBPI in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline

1 March 2019

Start date

October 2019