PhD: Towards climate-optimised aircraft design: Integrating climate modelling in aircraft design tools
Delft University of Technology, Faculty Aerospace Engineering

PhD: Towards climate-optimised aircraft design: Integrating climate modelling in aircraft design tools


Department/faculty: Faculty Aerospace Engineering 

Level: University Graduate 

Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly 

Contract: 4 years 

Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)


Faculty Aerospace Engineering


The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.
The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.


The mission of the Department of Control and Operations is to improve the safety and efficiency of operations in aerospace and to reduce the impact on the environment. The department comprises three sections: Control and Simulation, which focuses on the development of advanced automatic control systems (including the role of the human operator), Air Transport Operations, which aims to improve operational performance in terms of capacity, safety and economy, and Aircraft Noise and Climate Effects, which focuses on reducing aircraft noise, emissions and the effects of aviation on climate change.   


Job description


On the one side, aviation guarantees long-range mobility, but on the other side it contributes significantly to climate change. Emissions from aircraft increase the atmospheric concentrations of e.g., carbon dioxide, ozone, and water vapour. Another very important effect is the formation of contrails, which also contributes to climate change. Typically, aircraft design is optimised for costs. First results indicate that an adaptation of aircraft design allow for a significant reduction of aviation’s climate impact via the reduction of non-CO2 effects. However, a reliable climate impact assessment tool at aircraft design level is currently not available, but required for testing aircraft design options, driven by aspects varying from cruise altitude, cruise speed and new engine concepts to fancy new concepts such as electric-hybrid propulsion.


Your research includes active discussions within the GLOWOPT European CleanSky2 project partners to develop climate change functions as a basis for climate-optimisation in aircraft design tools and to develop a basic understanding of the impact of aircraft design on climate based on fast response modelling and more complex climate-chemistry modelling. 




The candidate should have a master degree in an area relevant to the subject, e.g. atmospheric sciences, (applied) physics, applied mathematics, or aerospace engineering. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and advanced programming skills with a strong interest in interdisciplinary work is advantageous for this position.


Conditions of employment


The selected candidate will be granted a temporary employment contract with the university for a period of 4 years (48 months), with an evaluation at the end of the first year. Within the contract period, the candidate is expected to produce a dissertation (PhD thesis) of sufficient quality for him/her to be awarded a PhD.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. You will have 232 hours of paid leave each year and in addition to your salary, at TU Delft you will receive an annual holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8,3% of your salary.


As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application


For more information, please contact prof.dr. V. Grewe, email:


To apply, please send an application letter by e-mail, a curriculum vitae, transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees, copies of BSc and MSc diplomas, proof of language skills if applicable, and the names of two references compiled into a single pdf file named lastname_firstname_yearofbirth.pdf. Please send your application by 1st of September 2019 to D.G. Simons, Professor and head of section Aircraft Noise and Climate Effects, email:


When applying, please refer to vacancy number LR19-23. If your MSc diploma and transcript are not in Dutch, English, French or German and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


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