Postgraduate research opportunities

PhD Advanced Power Systems with Composite Structures for the Electrification of Aerospace

A three-year funded PhD project in advanced aero-electrical power systems with composite structures is offered by the aero-electrical research team within the Institute for Energy & Environment. This is in collaboration with industry partners.

Number of places



Home fee, Stipend


26 August 2019


20 September 2019


3 years


To be considered for the project, candidates must:

  • Possess an undergraduate MEng or postgraduate MSc degree in electrical engineering, physics or mathematics. Exceptional candidates with a BSc/BEng qualification (1st or 2:1) may also be considered.
  • Have strong understanding of electrical power systems.
  • Have good understanding, skills and experience of engineering system modelling and simulation.

Subject: electrical engineering.

Mode of study: Full time.

Project Details

Applications are invited for a funded three-year PhD scholarship in aero-electrical power systems.


The successful candidate will work as a member of the established aero-electrical research team within the Institute for Energy and Environment, and alongside a wider team of specialists in electrical power systems. The research will be conducted in close collaboration with an industrial partner, providing significant insight into the electrification of flight.


Electrical technologies have the potential to realise significant breakthroughs in efficiency and emissions from the aerospace sector, however key research challenges remain to be addressed. Electrical power systems have become increasingly complex in recent years in order to deliver greater levels of performance and to capitalise on technology advances, and are now also being directly integrated with advanced carbon fibre composite materials. This increasing level of system sophistication and interdependence brings additional challenges to the development and delivery of future aerospace platforms. At the same time, such developments offer the potential to achieve system performance levels that will accelerate the electrification of air transport.


This PhD is one of a number of new and exciting opportunities that exist for doctoral study at the University of Strathclyde in direct collaboration with industry partners from the aerospace sector that will research the increasing electrification of engines and aircraft, and the integration of new composite materials into electrical components. The research project will focus on the investigation of new electrical power system designs, and the realisation of new control methods and architecture options that together with materials innovation may deliver a step-change in system performance. It will thus contribute to breakthroughs that will accelerate the realisation of commercial aircraft that are lighter, safer, more efficient and produce lower emissions.


As part of the project, the successful candidate will also benefit from the training delivered as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development.

Funding Details

Funding is available for the successful candidate that will cover an annual tax free stipend and full tuition fees (if relevant connection with the UK) or part fees (other students). The stipend starts at £15,009.


Academic supervision will be led by Professor Graeme Burt and Dr Patrick Norman, supported by an internationally recognised research team. Professor Burt is director of the Institute for Energy and Environment, and Director of the Rolls-Royce UTC in electrical power systems. Dr Norman is a senior lecturer in aero-electrical systems.

How to apply

Candidates should email with reference “PhD-AEP1” in the subject line, attaching a detailed CV with contact information for two academic referees, and a covering letter highlighting their suitability for the position, to Professor Graeme Burt (


The application deadline is 20 September 2019.


The project is available for a start from October 2019.


If you wish to discuss any details of the projects informally, please email Professor Graeme Burt quoting reference “PhD-AEP1” in the subject line.