“Towards a more representative environmental vibration testing for spacecraft equipment”
The Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey is a world leading Centre of Excellence in Space Engineering, and together with an established industrial partner are looking for a graduate in Engineering to undertake applied research leading to a PhD.
The main aim of this project is to investigate and improve some aspects of the environmental vibration testing that is carried out during the development and qualification of spacecraft equipment.
Vibration testing is performed to validate the equipment’s mathematical model (Finite Element Model) and to prove experimentally that the hardware can withstand without damage the very harsh vibration environment produced during the spacecraft launch.
In reality, during launch the items are shaken in all directions simultaneously and they are mounted on a relatively flexible structure, whereas during the test the vibrations are typically applied one axis at a time, with the items mounted on a rigid interface. Due to these physical mismatches, the desire to ensure a conservative test which envelopes the responses produced during launch produces test conditions which are far more severe than the real launch. The result is that test survival can become a significant load case driving an over-design and therefore preventing an effective optimization of the item with respect to the real operating conditions. Therefore the aim of the research is to investigate these issues and propose methodologies to improve the representativeness of the tests.
We are seeking a researcher to work on this project in collaboration with our Industrial partner. In order to maintain the project aligned with the sponsor’s needs the researcher will spend some periods seconded at the premises of our industrial partner. The researcher will be enrolled as a PhD student and we are offering tuition fees plus a bursary fully funded (standard rate £14,726 per annum) for 3.5 years.
The ideal candidate will have a degree (MEng level, with 2.1 degree classification or above, or equivalent national qualification - candidates holding a BEng degree could be acceptable depending on their profile) in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautical, or Mechanical or other relevant discipline/background, a keen interest space structures, some experience in finite element analysis, a good understanding of structural dynamics (vibrations). It is expected that the student will contribute actively to academic life at the University of Surrey, and present the results of his/her research at relevant international conferences and in appropriate academic journals.
Only UK or EU students are eligible for this post.
How to apply
Please complete the application form online at:
In the field labelled “Intended Research Area” enter “Spacecraft Finite Element Model correlation process”.
Please also send a copy of your CV, a cover letter (including a brief description of your research interests), and copies of any academic transcripts to Mrs Karen Collar, Administrator, Surrey Space Centre, BA Building, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, or by email to email@example.com
For informal inquiries contact: Professor G. Aglietti (G.Aglietti@surrey.ac.uk)