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The aim is to significantly advance the state of the art in concept design of power and propulsion components in extremely rapid timescales.

We are seeking an enthusiastic person to join the Biohaviour ( team. The engineering and product systems of the future will look and feel very different from those to which we are accustomed today. Current Design systems are not optimised for the new generative design processes emerging, such as the bioinspired design systems being investigated in Biohaviour, and this project will help to advance the state of the art. In May this year we kick-off a major research programme worth £11M working with two other universities and a number of major industrial partners ( This project will be part of that team. This is an exciting opportunity to join a team working at the edge of technology and setting new boundaries. This PhD will investigate how the Biohaviour design system can be utilised for practical applications of significance to Rolls-Royce, with particular focus on green propulsion products and their use of environmentally friendly fuels. A working prototype system will be developed to link with the existing Biohaviour research. Tony Phipps, Chief of Future Methods at Rolls-Royce, will be industrial supervisor. A placement at RR Derby is planned which will be an integral part of this research”

Biohaviour is a bioinspired integrated design and manufacturing system created and developed in QUB. It aims to observe the rules nature uses when designing the world around us, and to capture these in a system where they can be applied to engineering design problems. It is envisaged that by doing so it will be possible to design and manufacture innovative products, free from the constraints imposed on the designs of today by existing design processes.

This PhD will play an important role in the overall project, building upon the emerging fundamental research from the QUB Biohaviour projects to advance the state of the art for more complex geometry and physics.

The aim is to significantly advance the state of the art in concept design of power and propulsion components in extremely rapid timescales.

To realise this, the objectives are to:
•Identify different modelling approaches suited to generative design of power and propulsion components.
•Identify different parameterisation strategies that can be used with each modelling approach
•Evaluate different modelling approaches in terms of their ability to be controlled as part of a bioinspired design system
•Evaluate the suitability of the different modelling approaches in multi-physics design contexts
•Prepare a prototype design environment for several demonstrator cases.

Demonstrator cases may potentially include:
•Structural: Lightweight pressure vessel (e.g. Hydrogen tank)
•Fluid flow: pipe routing
•Thermal: Lightweight Heat exchanger
•Chemical: Proton Exchange Membrane
•Multi-Physics: Lightweight “Green” Fuel cell (Gaseous fluid flow, thermal, electricity, structural, chemical)

These practical engineering applications will hugely advance the current capability in using computational design genes and will seek to generate novel, optimal solutions for a wide variety of constraints. This will enable comparison of this novel approach against commercially available topology optimisation techniques, for what may be a highly innovative, radically fast generation of viable design architectures vs. today’s current capability.
While this project is focused around systems in aerospace the technology has applications in product design and development across all sectors.

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