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

Research / Academic

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.

Salary Benefits:

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.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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