Postdoctoral Position in Reduction of Propeller Noise for Future Electrical Aircrafts

Chalmers University of Technology is offering postdoctoral scholar position in mechanical engineering. This fellowship is last for three years and posible to extend. Applications should be sent before December 31, 2018.

The department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2) conducts fundamental and applied research in all modes of transport to achieve sustainable technological solutions. M2 holds one of Sweden's most extensive simulator centre for navigation and propulsion of ships, as well as world class laboratories within combustion engineering and wind tunnels. The department also offers and contributes to bachelor and master programs in areas such as Shipping, Automotive and Mechanical Engineering to mention a few. In addition, professional education is performed on both a national and international level, with specific designed mission training for different social actors, within our ambition for a lifelong learning. The department continuously strives to establish a cooperation between academia, industry, and society, with a great focus on utilization. M2 is characterized by an international environment with employees and students from around the world, as well as outstanding research and world class education. M2 consists of seven different divisions within the areas of engineering and maritime sciences, and one division of administration and support.

The Division

The Division of fluid dynamics carries out research in a wide range of applications such as aerospace (which is largest), automotive, wind power, hydropower, medicine, process industry, vehicle aerodynamics, shipping, and bio-mechanics. Almost every single research project is carried out in cooperation with a company. We do both numerical simulations and experiments. We develop our own in-house CFD codes for both incompressible and compressible flow, aero and vibro-acoustics as well as system analysis of gas turbines and we are very active in the OpenFOAM community. We have a fully equipped laboratory with three large wind tunnels, full set of PIV and IR imaging equipment. We do research on turbulent incompressible and compressible single and multiphase flows through numerical and experimental research and develop new and improved turbulence and multiphase models and experimental techniques for both fundamental and real-world flows. We frequently build dedicated experimental facilities in collaboration with industry in order to better understand fluid flow details. The division also works on flow induced noise applied to aerospace and automotive. In the turbomachine group, the research is focused on turbomachinery and propulsion engineering, developing new fluid machinery and gas turbine system analysis. The research also includes air traffic management

Information about the project

The Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology invites applications for a two-year postdoctoral position starting in Spring 2019 (not later than July 1). The successful candidate will be offered a two-year employment at Chalmers in the Division of Fluid Dynamics.

Background to the project

As a new way for transportation, electric aircrafts have been attracting extensive attention due to low CO2 emission. However, low noise emission is crucial for electrical aircrafts to be accepted to transport in urban areas. Electric propulsion systems therefore need to be improved to reach this goal. Since the propellers of the systems are known to dominant the noise generation, we are doing research on reduction of propeller noise at Chalmers, particularly for electric aircrafts.

Boxprop, developed by Prof. Grnstedt's group at Chalmers ( US patent, “Air propeller arrangement and aircraft”) can be one concepts for the next generation of aircraft propellers. Several recent studies by Prof. Grnstedt's group have shown that this concept has high potentials to improve the propulsion efficiency and noise emission. For more info, see


This project aims to explore the potential usage of Boxprop for future short-range electrical aircrafts as a future public urban transportation service. The feasibility of Boxprop will be addressed and demonstrated based on numerical simulations and experiments. The aeroacoustic and aerodynamic performances of a set of propellers, which are designed with different geometrical parameters and rotational speeds, will be investigated. The findings will be used to improve the existing propeller configurations.


A high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method, detached eddy simulation (DES), will be employed in the flow simulation. This method can well resolve turbulent structures at high Reynolds numbers but consumes much less computational resources than direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large eddy simulation (LES).

The Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings method (FW-H) will be used in the noise prediction. The FW-H method belongs to the family of the acoustic analogy originally proposed by Lighthill (1956). An apparent advantage of the FW-H method is that it separates the aeroacoustic and aerodynamic simulations. Therefore, numerical errors in the aerodynamic simulation will not contaminate the aeroacoustic prediction.

The near- and far-field noise levels of the configurations at various rotational speeds will be measured in an anechoic chamber. The ambient air in the chamber is quiescent to make the free-stream velocity zero. Operations with multiple propellers will be tested to explore the interaction between propellers.


The noise measurement will be carried out at the anechoic chamber at the division of Applied Acoustics at Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering in Chalmers. See

Prof. Wolfgang Kropp is the head of the lab. The dimensions of the chamber are 10 m x 10 m x 8 m. The background noise level is controlled below 17dBA. The operational frequencies range from 75 Hz to 10 kHz.


Prof. Lars Davidson, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (project leader),

Prof. Tomas Grnstedt, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences,

Dr. Hua-Dong Yao, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences,

Prof. Wolfgang Kropp, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering,

Dr. Anders Forslund, Department of Industrial and Materials Science,

Anders Forslund is project leader for ELISE (Electric Aviation in Sweden). It is a Vinnova financed project about electric aviation in Sweden. Anders is also running his own drone project for sparsely populated areas. The topic is small vessels to transport medicine between health centers and outlocalized so-called “health room” in Vsterbotten inland. The drone is a carbon fiber structure in the order of two by two meters, capable of lifting 8 kilos and flying up to 70 kilometers. For more info, see

Major responsibilities

Your primary responsibility will be to pursue research and development related to flow and acoustics within the project. You are expected to develop your own scientific ideas and concepts, and to communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. You will be guided by senior researchers at the involved departments. If the applicant is interested, the position also includes opportunities for supervising MSc and BSc students. The position is meritorious for future research duties within academia as well as industry/the public sector.

- Carry out DES simulations of the boxprop. We will use the commercial tool STAR-CCM+

- Analyze and try to understand the physics

- Carry out acoustic simulations using the Ffowcs Williams and Hawkings method. STAR-CCM+ and/or in-house codes will be used.

- Try to identify source terms of the noise

- Carry out measurements in order to validate the predicted acoustic results

- Suggest modifications of the boxprop in order to reduce the flow-induced noise

- Write scientific journal paper(s)

The position is a full-time employment with a competitive salary and with social benefits. This position is limited to two years with current funding. If the applicant is very successful and if new external funding is available, the position may be extended another one or two years.


To qualify for the position of postdoc, you must have a doctoral degree in Mechanical engineering, Physics, Mathematical Engineering, Aeronautics or any corresponding PhD; the degree should generally not be older than three years. You are expected to be somewhat accustomed to teaching, and to demonstrate good potential within research and education.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180562 and written in English.

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref.

CV, include complete list of publications

Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref.

1-3 pages where you introduce yourselfand present your qualifications.

Previous research fields and main research results.

Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Application deadline: 31 December 2018

Lars Davidson,

Fluid dynamics

+46 31-772 1404


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