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Noise reduction of Urban Air Mobility Vehicles using CFD

Urban air mobility vehicles (UAMVs) offer an opportunity to utilise airspace to vastly increase transport capacity and provide near door-to-door service. Most propulsion systems are based on electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) concepts, use multiple rotors. Electric propulsion leaves noise as the dominating emission at point of use. This prevents social acceptance and prevents widespread rapid growth of this technology.

The project aims to model flow and noise of key aircraft features including rotor sections, rotor tips and airframe interactions. High fidelity unsteady Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) such as Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) has been successfully used for jet, landing gear and aerofoil noise making use of High-Performance Computing (HPC). The detailed datasets produced will be explored using machine learning/AI.

This will inform noise reduction strategies and lower-fidelity modelling for entire aircraft. Working within a vibrant, multi-disciplinary team in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering there will also be opportunities to engage with internationally leading academics and industries.

Applicants will have or be expected to receive a first or upper-second class honours degree in Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Mathematics, Physics or a similar discipline. A Postgraduate Masters degree is not required but may be an advantage.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


James Tyacke - As a Lecturer in Aerospace Engineering, I am primarily interested in Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of complex flows including Urban Air Mobility Vehicles (Air Taxis), Jet Aeroacoustics, Turbomachinery, Electronics Cooling and Geothermal Energy. Multi-fidelity modelling underpins these areas, both in terms of turbulence modelling and geometry representation. Modern High Performance Computing (HPC) architectures are also being leveraged for both simulation and analysis of large data sets (Big Data), revealing unsteady flow physics.  Further interests include increasing CFD automation, including mesh generation and optimisation, solution analysis and feedback into knowledge-based systems using Machine Learning and AI. I am currently looking for students to complete a PhD under EPSRC DTP funding at Brunel University London or those who are self-funded.  A range of projects are possible, focusing on multi-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).  Example projects: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/PhD-Topics DTP funding details: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/PhD-Studentships/Studentship?id=a2efbe35-b0b9-46a7-b284-3fd40ff05174 Research degree funding: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding External funding: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-fees-and-funding/other-funding