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Aerospace Engineering

16 May 2024

The Aerospace Engineering theme focuses on advancing knowledge and technology in the design, development, and analysis of aerospace systems. This theme encompasses a wide range of topics, including aerodynamics, propulsion systems, structural analysis, and flight mechanics. Students and researchers are engaged in cutting-edge projects that address the challenges of modern aerospace engineering, from improving the efficiency of aircraft and spacecraft to exploring new materials and innovative designs. Through a combination of theoretical study and hands-on experimentation, the theme aims to prepare graduates for successful careers in the aerospace industry and to contribute to the advancement of aerospace technology on a global scale


Research Theme Members

Areas of Expertise



Research Interests

High-speed flows,

Electric propulsion,

Thermal engineering, thermal protection systems

Areas of Expertise



Research Interests

Aircraft design,

Composite Structures.,

Lattice Structures,

Fluid-structure interaction

Areas of Expertise


Numerical and theoretical modelling

Research Interests




Drones, UAVs, supersonic

Current Postgraduate Opportunities

Project Title: Unsteady Aerodynamics Research on Drones

Project summary: You will join a team of UAV and aerospace and control scientists at the University of Canterbury to work on an MBIE funded project (Endeavour-Fund 2021-2026). You will work with Prof. Dan Zhao, Assoc. Prof. Scott Post (Embry-Riddle)  to investigate TURBULENCE/GUST impact on UAV unsteady aerodynamics performance to enable drones to be applied in complex environments. The work will also involve developing time-domain CFD simulations (Fluent/OPENFOAM) and low-order theoretical models (such as Newton-Euler method) of UAV unsteady aerodynamics to be used as a platform to evaluate the performance of a feedback controller. 

This project is a collaborative one involving research groups at the University of Canterbury (in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and in the Institute of Computer Science and Software Engineering), University of Auckland, Victoria University of Welling, University of Bristol (UK). The overarching aim of the project is to develop an applicable drone to use precision tools towards a low emission economy by 2050. Within MBIE-Endeavour fund, you will collaborate closely with all research teams involved, but you will primarily work on the work package investigating the application of drones with precision tools.

You will have, or be close to obtaining, a Master in the field of Aerodynamics (experimental or numerical or UAV-related field) and have extensive experience of using CFD package of Fluent, OPENFOAM or SU2. You will have some knowledge of CFD and/or low order modelling (Newton-Euler method) and will have had experience communicating your science to project manager. Experience of developing unsteady aerodynamics model and of using 3D Fluent/OPENFOAM are desirable. You will have strong passion to publish scientific results at an international level and also of writing for boarder audiences. 

Funding/stipend: MBIE funded project (Endeavour-Fund 2021-2026)

Application deadline: Dec. 31st, 2024


Project Title: Research on combustion and propulsion

Project summary: Aerospace application of combustion and propulsion

Funding/stipend: China Scholarship Council (CSC) scholarship

Novel strength prediction methods for aerospace composite laminates containing elliptical scarfed holes (top) and bonded repairs (bottom.

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