PhD assistant – Inlet particle separator testing and modeling

Department Turbomachinery and Propulsion
Deadline None

Duration: three years

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Position Start Date: October 2018

Job description

We are seeking a PhD candidate to join the von Karman Institute in the Department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion.

In the frame of the IPANEMA European project, VKI is asked to deliver a detailed experimental characterisation of the aerodynamic and separation performance of a state-of-art inlet particle separator (IPS) system. The proposed PhD project fits into the aforementioned activities and aims, at its final extent, at delivering a detailed modelling of the component under investigation.

In the first phase of the project a precise aerodynamic characterization of a baseline geometry will be achieved. This information will be employed to design a simplified test section where, by means of optical measurement techniques, instantaneous measurements of the velocity field and of the particles trajectories will be performed. CFD simulations will be used to extend the range of the investigated conditions (from take-off to cruise) and, at such extent, experimental measurements will serve the purpose of boundary conditions and simulations validation. In the final step of the project, the modelling of the aerodynamic and separation performance of the component will be carried out. The final outcome is a set of correlations to be employed during the design phase of such component.

The candidate will:

    Take part to the baseline configuration measurement campaign and its processing
    Carry out the design of the simplified test section
    Develop and validate the required measurement techniques
    Take part to the simplified configuration measurement campaign and its processing
    Carry out numerical simulations
    Carry out modelling

The dissemination of results is a mandatory task. The successful candidate is expected to present the project findings in international conferences and through peer-reviewed articles.


You will have a Master in science (or near completion) in Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering, or related engineering field. Successful applicants will ideally have graduated with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and MSc distinction/honours (or equivalent ranking).

A background and experience in the following subjects is essential: fluid dynamics, measurement techniques and numerical methods for CFD.

Expertise in CFD solvers (such as CFX, Fluent, etc.) and working knowledge of CAD software (such as CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, etc.) are an asset.

Fluent knowledge of English (oral and written) is mandatory.

Candidates are expected to be self-motivated, hardworking and team players.

Conditions of employment

The appointment is for a period of 3 years, with an intermediate evaluation after two years, resulting in a PhD thesis. An educational plan will be drafted that includes attendance of courses, participation to international conferences and workshops, short stays in an external lab/university.

We maintain a very friendly and international working environment, which will provide easy adaptation for the selected applicant. We ensure a high-level of interaction in a world-known international research center specialized in fluid dynamics for aerospace, environmental and propulsion applications.

Additional information

The supervisors of the PhD project will be Prof. Fabrizio Fontaneto and Prof. Tony Arts.

You will be required to upload a covering letter, curriculum vitae, academic records (complete list of university courses with grades) for both M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees, and the contact of two referees as part of your application. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection process.

This position is ONLY open to applicants who are EU citizens.

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