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PhD Aeroelastic Feather Control at Lund University

Lund University has an opening PhD position in environmental sciences. The funds for this position are available for four years. The deadline for applying is November 16, 2018.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The goal of this project is to develop computational fluid structure interaction models of bird feathers. The aim is to study how aerodynamically efficient passive aerodynamic control mechanisms of flight feathers are, using computational experiments. ln the long term, the results will be used when studying and designing new wing concepts for aircraft and wind turbines.

Birds are better at flying than any similar sized flying vehicle man has ever constructed. Birds have a unique wing, with the wing surface being built from individual feathers. Feathers are elastic, which provides an aeroelastic/passive flow control mechanism with more than 150 million years of evolution to optimize performance. The results from this project will help us understand the factors that has shaped the evolution of feathers.

Feathers are extremely complex structures and this project concerns if feathers have evolved structures that provides passive flow control mechanisms optimizing the flow over the feathers. Flapping wings result in a continuously changing the flow across the feathers and simulating the dynamic nature of feather-air interaction thus requires Fluid-Structure lnteraction (FSl) models, which due to the extreme detail necessary to resolve the feather model will require intense computing power.

The Fluid-Structure lnteraction model will be verified with aerodynamic measurement of real feathers, with mechanical properties from feather bending experiments and deformation studies of aerodynamically loaded feathers in a wind tunnel.

We expect the project to be technically and intellectually challenging. Therefore applicants should preferably have an engineering background with experience in mechanical and/or fluid dynamics. You should have documented experience with FSl, Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) or Computational Structural modelling (CSM) modeling and a documented capacity to work independently. An interest in fluid-structure interactions and complex systems is an advantage. lf the applicant lacks biological knowledge he or she is expected to acquire basic biological knowledge during the PhD-studies. The position is placed at the Department of Biology at LU, but is a collaboration with researchers at Lund Technical University.

Engineer or equivalent (Master level) with relevant knowledge in mechanics and/or fluid dynamics.Documented experience of structural and/or fluid dynamic modeling in the Master project or equivalent.High grades in courses regarding material science and fluid dynamics are valued high in the evaluation.Ability to work independently.To be able to read and write academic texts in English is a requirement.lmportant qualifications are creative problem solving ability, to take responsibility for and finish projects independently and to have stamina.The applicant is expected to have an interest in biology. lf the applicant lacks biological knowledge he or she is expected to acquire basic biological knowledge during the PhD studies.

EligibilityStudents with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7.


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