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And the winner is….

26 July 2020

Drumroll please… announcing the winners of Clean Sky’s Best PhD Award! 

Every year, Clean Sky evaluates PhD theses from some of the brightest young minds in aviation research and technology and presents the ‘Best PhD award’ to those that show the most promise for driving clean technology in aerospace. 

The award is part of the Clean Sky Academy – a Clean Sky initiative whose goal is to strengthen the link with academia and inspire young engineers to cast their eyes towards innovative solutions for greener aircraft. 

This year, despite COVID-19, 13 high-quality applications for the award were received.

First place went to Dr Hossein Balaghi Enalou from the University of Nottingham for his thesis on “Electric Power Transfer Concept for Improved Performance of Multi-spool Turbofan Jet Engine”

According to Dr Enalou, his work has established an “electrical bridge” to circulate the desired amount of power between engine shafts, in order to decouple their speeds. He also developed a nonlinear modular engine model to study the impact of the Electric Power Transfer (EPT) on the engine performance. His work improved the engine performance significantly, resulting in a fuel consumption reduction of up to 2% and surge margin increase up to 5%. 

Dr Fedor Fomin of Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) came second, with his work “On the fatigue behaviour and modelling of fatigue life for laser-welded Ti-6Al-4V”.  His PhD aimed to accurately predict the fatigue behaviour of laser-welded/3D-printed titanium structures using a probabilistic model. During an aircraft’s lifetime, the structural integrity of the aircraft degrades due to material defects or damages, so his work is critical to ensure safety and reliability and will ensure more realistic lifetime assessments of ageing fleets.

And finally, Dr Pedro Magalhães de Oliveira of the University of Cambridge took third place with his thesis: “Ignition and propagation mechanisms in kerosene spray flames”. De Oliveira conducted a fundamental investigation of flame structure in sprays of conventional and renewable jet fuels, and used his findings to develop a mathematical design tool for relight in aviation combustors that has been transferred to industry. His work can be directly applied to the development of novel combustors and has contributed towards international efforts to streamline the process of alternative jetfuel certification.  

The ‘Best PhD Award’ will be officially presented online at a prize-giving ceremony to be held on 6 October. European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel is expected to give a keynote address, and there will be a panel discussion with high-level speakers. 

Save the date in your calendar: 6 October at 14:00-16:00 CET!

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