Post Doctoral Fellow, Aerospace Engineering

Updated: 5 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Dec 2024

Position Code: 8800970
Position Type:
 Project Based (Fixed Term)
Position Duration: 01/JAN/2024 to 31/DEC/2024
Position Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow
Project Title: Drone Aerodynamics and Wake Interactions: Towards Urban Air Mobility
Project Supervisor: Vladimir Parezanovic, Assistant Professor, [email protected]
Funding source:8474000555 / RIG-2023-024
Academic Department: Aerospace Engineering
Relevant Research Center:
Technical Keywords: Wind Tunnel Experiments, Flow Measurements, Drone Aerodynamics, Turbulent Wakes, Wake Interactions, Drone Electronics

About Khalifa University

Khalifa University is ranked 181st  in the QS World University Rankings 2023, and the top University in the UAE, with a range of research and academic programs designed to address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challenges facing our rapidly evolving world.

Its world-class faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities provide an unparalleled learning experience to students from the UAE and around the world. Our research and academic activities cover a broad range of disciplines in engineering, science and medicine through our three colleges.

Khalifa University’s research relates to key focus sectors of relevance to the UAE’s strategic economic growth and the technology platforms that serve as foundations for these sectors. The University’s research priorities are addressed in two categories — “verticals” and “horizontals” — which jointly cover specific industry and sector needs, technical platforms and expertise.

KU’s focus sectors are Clean and Renewable Energy, Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production, Water and Environment, Healthcare, Aerospace, and Supply Chain and Logistics. Research in these sectors is enhanced by our research platforms of Robotics, AI and Data Science, Information and Communication Technologies, and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing as well as Fundamental Sciences.

Position Overview

KU is seeking a highly motivated Post-doctoral Fellow to work on the experimental characterization of the wake of a multi-rotor drone and the interaction of such wakes between multiple drones in formation.

The project, within which this position is open, addresses the interaction of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) with wakes of other similar craft and wakes of large-scale urban objects such as buildings. Contrary to fixed-wing aircraft, there is very little information and no internationally accepted standards concerning the wake characteristics of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) craft for cruise, and ascent/descent, and how such wake will affect the dynamics of neighboring UAS. This is a key challenge to be tackled to ensure safe separation in the foreseen UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system which will have to deal with small VTOL craft operating in a highly constricted urban airspace which is subject to significant environmental flow unsteadiness. In the future, the knowledge gained in this project on the aerodynamics of multi-rotor UAS could be extended to larger, passenger-carrying VTOL platforms (e.g., air taxis) adopting similar design approaches.

The post-doctoral fellow will lead the effort in designing the experiment, setting it up in the new KU low-speed wind tunnel facility, and conducting the consequent measurement campaigns and data analyses. The major project work packages are: (i) simulating the drone flight in the wind tunnel and characterizing its wake, and (ii) exploring the sensitivity of such drone to the presence of another drone in close proximity and characterizing their wake interactions.

The candidate will have access to state-of-the-art flow measurement equipment, such as High-speed Particle Image Velocimetry (TR-PIV), Stereoscopic (S-)PIV and other, as well as facilities at the new KU Low-Speed Wind tunnel facility. The postdoctoral fellow will have an opportunity to work alongside researchers and graduate students from various backgrounds as part of a wider team.

Occasional trips (2 to 3 weeks in duration, with air tickets and per diem) might be necessary to the collaborator facilities at the University of Liverpool (UK), to perform experiments and work collaboratively on results and publications. Therefore, the candidate is expected to have international mobility.

The contract is initially for a duration of 1 year, but can be renewed for 1 more year, subject to the employee’s performance appraisal.

Position Requirements

  • Participates in scientific research as a professionally responsible member of the research team, participates in problem exploration, and definition, planning of the approach and sequence of steps, execution of experiments, interpretation of findings, documentation and reporting of results and progress, maintenance of research records and compliance to all established policies and procedures;
  • Regularly meets with the Advisor to apprise the Advisor of the research results, for the development and troubleshooting of techniques, to provide direction and focus to the research, to air concerns and conflicts, and to express mutual expectations;
  • Publishes research results in journals appropriate to the field in a timely manner, may present findings at meetings;
  • Participates in writing grant applications and proposals that pertain to the research;
  • Contributes to the overall activities of the research team and the department, as required;
  • Undertakes a limited amount of teaching in relation to subject area and mentors graduate students and/or undergraduates under the supervision of the Advisor;
  • Adheres to the University's information security and confidentiality policies and procedures, and reports breaches or other security risks accordingly;
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the Line Manager


Candidate Profile

Essential Criteria

  • PhD from a reputable university in Aerospace Engineering, Fluid Mechanics or related discipline.
  • Experience writing scientific and review papers;
  • A willingness to contribute to a collaborative and supportive team culture
  • Excellent English language communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • The proven ability to work on multiple tasks with competing demands and deadlines.
  • Ability to train and mentor students and support fellow researchers
  • Highly developed reasoning and problem-solving skills

Desired Criteria

  • PhD gained from a top 200 QS or THE ranked University
  • At least 1 year of relevant experience as a Post-doctoral researcher in academia or in industry.
  • High impact first-author publications in top 10% journals in the relevant field
  • Solid experience with wind tunnel testing and/or CFD for turbulent flows
  • Experience in: flow measurement techniques (PIV, CTA, pressure measurements, etc.), data acquisition and analyses, programming related to hardware/software integration, RC drones control and programming.
  • Experience with MATLAB and NI LabView is highly desired.

Should you require further assistance or if you face any issue with the online application, please feel to contact the Recruitment Team ([email protected] ).

Primary Location: Abu Dhabi UAE
Job: Post Doctoral Fellow
Schedule: Regular
Shift: Standard
Job Type: Full-time

Similar Positions