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Sound and Vibration Design for Sustainable Aircraft

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2023
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2023

Project ID: S&T24

Future generations of aircraft will be radically different to those currently operating. Prototype designs use hybrid, battery, and hydrogen engines providing power to propellers, resulting in reduced emissions associated with passenger transportation. Personal air transport concepts use multi-rotor drone designs with application for air-taxi, emergency services and large-scale farming, improving point-to-point transfer times, and eliminating the need for ground infrastructure.

Recent research has shown that passengers are more sensitive to the sound and vibration experienced in propeller aircraft than would be expected based on measurements made according to current International Standards. For these more-sustainable aircraft to be accepted by passengers, the designs need to be improved to make the flying experience comfortable, quiet, and smooth.

Current International Standards for evaluation of human exposure to noise and vibration have been developed for on-ground applications such as road transport and industrial equipment. This PhD project will seek to understand the human response to high-frequency vibration and noise that is experienced in propeller aircraft and rotorcraft. It will produce a digital twin model of the passenger experience that will enable aircraft manufacturers to understand passenger response to the aircraft in the digital domain and test new aircraft designs before they are being built, reducing manufacturing costs.

The research will build on previous studies that collaborated with global vehicle and seat manufacturers including Leonardo and Bridgestone. It will include experimental work using the NTU Engineering aircraft cabin simulator that allows for reproduction of passenger experiences in a real aircraft fuselage. The PhD student will be trained in the use of the simulation facilities and will run user trials with volunteers to gather data on human response to noise and vibration as experienced in concept aircraft.

Applicants do not need detailed knowledge of aircraft before embarking on this PhD. Applications should have a background in Engineering, Product Design, or Human Factors. Experience with MATLAB or similar programming languages is beneficial, but not required.

Supervisory Team:

DOSProf Neil MansfieldDepartment of Engineering

Dr Frederique Vanheusden

Dr Leiming Gao

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

To make an application, please visit our studentship application page.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2023 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Application guidance can be found on our studentship application page.

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