PhD Studentship - Predicting the No Fault Found (NFF) burden for avionics over their operational life, Cranfield University

Updated: over 4 years ago
Location: Cranfield, ENGLAND
Deadline: 31 Oct 2012


PhD Studentship - Predicting the No Fault Found (NFF) burden for avionics over their operational life
Application deadline:
31 October 2012

Professor Peter Foote

Duration of award:
Three years
Award type:

Supported by EPSRC, a studentship up to £20,000 p.a. for 3 years plus UK/EU fees* is available

Through the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services (TES), Cranfield University are seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake this exciting industry-led PhD project in the area of predicting the No Fault Found (NFF) burden for avionics.

The PhD position is sponsored by BAE Systems and the successful applicant will work closely with specialists from their Military & Technical Services Team along with the EPSRC Centre’s other core partners such as the MOD.  The position will be based at Cranfield University but the successful candidate would be required to spend time at the project partners as necessary.

Research Project

Through-life engineering services and maintenance effectiveness are highly important in the new age of industrial success.  However, there is a problem of faults arising within electronics during operation that result in a failure to diagnose the root cause of the problem during subsequent testing. Such diagnostic failures are widely recognised and are described as ‘No Fault Found’ (NFF) events.

In order to increase the rate of diagnostic success within avionics equipment, there is the need to understand NFF from a fundamental perspective; identifying the relationships between NFF levels, the types of fault, the equipment most at risk and how NFF occurrences change throughout the operational life of the equipment. The researcher will begin by understanding system designs, utilising data mining techniques for analysis of maintenance data before identifying specific avionics items for in depth investigations into how the design, modification, life-cycle stage, testability and reparability influence NFF events. 

The research will seek to correlate equipment design features and selected NFF attributes in order to develop a NFF rate/burden predictor.  The overall impact of such a NFF rate/burden predictor is that it will be used at the design phase, or to verify a proposed modification resulting in equipment which is immune to NFF throughout its operational life. The researcher will form part of a larger NFF research team and will work within the Centre’s state-of-the-art research labs which include high performance computing, thermography, environmental testing chamber, intermittent fault detection and isolation equipment and a Virtual Reality Suite for systems design.

For informal discussions on the project please contact Dr Paul Phillips 

Doctoral Training Centres

This higher research degree is associated with one of our Doctoral Training Centre, which is funded in part by the Research Councils and industry. A generic core skills training programme is provided for all research students. This is structured as a series of half day or full day events and acts as a social and networking forum to foster and develop Cranfield’s research student community.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a First or Second Class UK honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline such as engineering or physics. It would be beneficial for the applicant to have some experience of electronics, data analysis, systems engineering or failure mechanisms.


*Supported by the EPSRC Centre, studentships will cover the tuition fees at the UK/EU rate only and provide a bursary of up to £20,000 p.a. for three years. To be eligible for this funding applicants must have:
• no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK, i.e. no visa restrictions or have ‘settled status’, and
• have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant and
• not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals).
All EU nationals are eligible to receive a fees-only award if they do not have ‘settled status’ in the UK.
All non-EU nationals are very unlikely to be eligible for this funding under the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997.
For full details about eligibility please visit the EPSRC website

How to apply

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form. For further information contact us today:

School of Applied Sciences
T: +44 (0)1234 754086

Please note that we are unable to consider submissions for specific research studentships that fall outside of the stated eligibility criteria.

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