This studentship will afford the student a chance to go deep in the areas of space propulsion, spacecraft design, energy storage and power management with an option of optimisation or control.
- Qualification Type: PhD
- Hours: Full Time
- Title of project: Multi-domain modelling of microsatellite propulsion systems with green propellants
- Placed On: 1st February 2022
- Closes: 16th September 2022, or until places have been filled.
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Engineering. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on modelling and simulation in the area of microsatellite propulsion.
Satellite manoeuvres in space have used cold gas thrusters or chemical propulsion systems due to their low cost and power consumed. However, ion engines and lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly common in telecommunication satellites.
The industrial trend is driven by the superior efficiency of electric propulsion (EP) compared to chemical propulsion. On the other hand, miniaturised EP systems are less technologically mature and standardised.
The proposed research explores the modelling aspect of microsatellite propulsion systems. Diversified EP schemes are considered ranging from more classical ones to proofs-of-concept.
Propulsion system models, solved macroscopically by analytic formulas or microscopically by numerical techniques, are integrated with power/energy system models. Propellant selection will consider environment-friendliness and availability in space (e.g., H2O).
The research topic will afford the student a chance to go deep in the areas of space propulsion, spacecraft design, energy storage and power management with an option of optimisation or control.
These skills, especially ones necessary for miniaturisation of satellite propulsion/power systems, are expected to be sought after highly by the industry and can also provide a robust foundation for an academic career.
The results of a successful doctoral thesis are expected to be of interest to the space industry at large as well as the energy industry potentially.
The student will be encouraged to publish results of their research at leading international conferences and in top-tier journals. They will be encouraged to communicate directly with potential or actual industrial partners.
Eligibility and requirements
The candidate should have an upper second-class BSc/BEng/MEng (or equivalent, or higher) degree in aeronautics/aerospace engineering, or electrical and computer engineering. They should demonstrate aptitude for original research.
The candidate should possess a good understanding of flight physics, control theory and optimization.
A candidate who demonstrates exceptional aptitude in one or more of these areas (as evidenced, for instance, through strong academic credentials or research papers in reputable, peer-reviewed journals/conferences) may be accorded preference.
The successful candidate should be able to code comfortably in Matlab or/and Python.
A doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD:
- Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
- Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research
Having published high-quality papers in reputable peer-reviewed conferences and journals will be an advantage for the candidate.
The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000.
Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2,200 per annum on an average (max. is around £4,300 per annum) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.
How to apply
If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to email initial informal enquiries to Sung Paek.
Visit our Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics research degrees web page for further information on making a formal application.
When submitting your application, enter the title “Multi-domain modelling of microsatellite propulsion systems with green propellants” and you will automatically be considered for this studentship.
You do not need to submit a proposal as part of your application as the project has already been outlined.
The online application can be found in the ‘How to apply section’ in the web link above and should include the following supporting documents:
- Copies of Degree Certificates and Transcripts in official English translation - original will be requested before an offer is made.
- Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic).
- Proof of English Language proficiency (minimum average score of 6.5 IELTS, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components) if English is not your first language.
The outcome of the selection process should be announced by the end of September. The successful candidate will formally start their doctorate in October 2022.
For queries regarding the application process, please email the School.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
City, University of London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all its activities, processes, and culture, for our whole community, including staff, students and visitors.
We welcome applications regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or social class. For more information on our approaches to encouraging an inclusive environment, please see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages.