School of Engineering

Aerospace Engineering


Working at the heart of the UK aerospace eco-system, the Aerospace group provides transformative advances in aeronautics and space technology for the 21st century.

The group integrates fundamental advances across specific disciplines to deliver new architectures for affordable, sustainable, and innovative air transport and space operations.

Scholarly academic leadership, complementary discipline expertise, powerful software, and the School numerical and experimental facilities grow hand in glove to deliver aerospace industry transformative advances.

Strategy and strands

The Aerospace research group brings together the School of Engineering disciplines in the aeronautical and space research themes of:

  • Autonomous air vehicles
  • Electrically powered aircraft
  • Green propulsion
  • Laminar-turbulent flow control
  • Silent flight
  • Satellite technology

Current research projects

The group is keen to lead or take part in collaborative research projects and consortia. Informal discussions can be initiated with either the Head of Group or any of the group members directly.

AeroTraNet2 - FP7 Aeronautical Training Network

Principle Investigator

Aldo Rona, BEng, PhD, SFHEA, Associate Professor, Head of Group

Project work packages

  • WP1: Leicester: CFD of jets with strong shock-associated noise
  • WP2: Cerfacs: LES of dual-flux coaxial jets
  • WP3: UNIROMA TRE: Wavelets and velocity-pressure analysis methods
  • WP4: VKI: Dual flux jet experiments
  • WP5: IMFT: Jet shear layer instability and ad joint techniques
  • WP6: GE Power: Knowledge management and uncertainty quantification
  • WP7: INSEAN: Pressure-velocity coupling experiments
  • WP8: Airbus France: Cross-read with flight test data
  • WP9: U. Greenwich: Reduced order parametrized models

Main results

  • 9PhD's
  • ANTARES noise extractor
  • Shock-associated noise
  • Knowledge capturing GE tool
  • Dual stream jet receptivity map

EPSRC project AAReST autonomous assembly of a reconfigurable space telescope using 3U nanosatellites

Control lead in EPSRC/AAReST

Nadjim Horri, MEng, PhD, FHEA, Lecturer in Aerospace Control

Project work packages

  • Navigation and control of the mobile robotic nanosatellite simulators.
  • Electromagnetic docking between two nanosatellites
  • Relative motion estimation using Kinect based visual navigation
  • Air bearing table facility development
  • 3U nanosatellite demonstrators development

Main result

  • Project has run between 09/2011 and 03/2012
  • University of Surrey led
  • Led the control work packages (autonomous driving, path following, MPC, mode switching control based on Sensors availability)

EU Horizon2020 MSCA-RISE

Bing Ji, BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA, Lecturer of Electrical Engineering

Project work packages 

  • WP1 - Electric motors, new manufacturing and fast prototyping techniques
  • WP2 - WBG, high-frequency switching devices and power converters
  • WP3 - Multiphysics analysis & multi-objective optimisation of motor drive systems
  • WP4 - Component faults, failure mechanisms and condition monitoring
  • WP5 - Integrated drives, multiphase and multilevel topologies for high reliability propulsion systems
  • WP6 - Parameter identification, artificial intelligence and data analytics
  • WP7 - Training & career development
  • WP8 - Knowledge transfer & result dissemination
  • WP9 - Project management
  • WP10 - Ethics requirements

Main results

  • Runs until end-2025
  • 12 consortium members - 7 academic + 5 industrial
  • Leicester leads WP#4 

Innovate UK project Assured CAV Parking

Control lead in EPSRC/AAReST

Nadjim Horri, MEng, PhD, FHEA, Lecturer in Aerospace Control

Project work packages

  • WP5 – Scenario generator for autonomous driving
  • WP5.1 Scenarios. modelling of test cases  
  • WP5.2 Methods for accelerated testing
  • WP5.3 Model Validation & Simulation of Use Cases  
  • WP5.4 Documentation and tutorials to assist customers using the virtual models
  • WP4 – Features parameterisation, co-simulation using V2X and automatic driving (AD) tool with a web-based GUI
  • WP4.1 to 4.3 Features digitisation and paramaterisation
  • WP4.4 Co-simulation V2X and AD
  • WP4.5-4.6 Web based GUI

Main results

  • Project has run between 03/2019 and 02/2021
  • Coventry University and Horiba Mira
  • Value to Coventry University £498,939
  • Total value of the project: £1,998,857
  • Led the control work packages (autonomous driving, path following, autonomous braking, co-simulation mode switching control based on sensors availability)

New Investigator Award EPSRC - Determining the Effects of Competing Instabilities in Complex Rotating Boundary Layers

Principal Investigator

Dr Zahir Hussain, BA, MA (Cantab), PhD, MRAeS, FHEA, Lecturer in Fluid Dynamics, National Lead of the Boundary Layers and Complex Rotating Flows UKFN SIG 


Project work packages 

  • WP1: Neutral stability analyses for complex geometries
  • WP2: Energy analyses and flow dissipation
  • WP3: Competing effects of crossflow and centrifugal instabilities

Main results

  • Chebyshev Spectral Solver (CheSS)
  • Competing Boundary Layer Instabilities
  • Complex 3D geometry neutral stability curves

Royal Academy of Engineering - Self-Monitoring and Resilient Control for Electrified Powertrain

Bing Ji, BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA, Lecturer of Electrical Engineering

Project work packages

  • WP1 - Adaptive Derating with Device Ageing
  • WP1.1 Research on implications of device ageing on robustness
  • WP1.2 Research on the implication of device and circuit manufacturing spread
  • WP2 - in-situ Health Monitoring functional integration into power converters
  • WP2.1 Multi-failure-precursor (MFP) fusion for health monitoring
  • WP2.2 Multicore embedded systems for Augmented health monitoring
  • WP3 - Active Gate Drivers 
  • WP3.1 A multivariate-based fault detection for adaptive protection
  • WP3.2 Active thermal management

Main results

  • Runs until Mar-2024
  • Publications 
  • Gate Driver Prototype

Tailplane stall study - Electrically powered aircraft, autonomous air vehicles

Nadjim Horri, MEng, PhD, FHEA, Lecturer in Aerospace Control

Project work packages

  • WP1 – Static stability analysis and derivation of the tail efficiency factors, M. Bromfield (Now Birmingham University), PI.
  • WP2 - Flight dynamics and simulation analysis for different tail efficiency factors, N. Horri, CoI.

Main results

  • Between 03/2019 and 03/2021
  • Coventry University and AIBN

High-fidelity Aerodynamic. Acoustic Modelling and Optimisation of Advanced Air Mobility

Dr Tao Zhang, Lecturer in Rotorcraft Computational Fluid Dynamics and Noise

High-fidelity Aerodynamics/Acoustics Modelling

  • CFD/CAA, reduced-order modelling

High-fidelity Design Optimisation

  • Adjoint- and data-based shape optimisation

Applications to Rotary Wing and Advanced Air Mobility Designs

  • Wind turbines, propellers, helicopter rotors
  • Unconventional VTOL aircraft

Additionally, members of the Aerospace Engineering group also participate in projects and research within the Green Energy Technologies and Systems group, such as:

  • ERA – Hydex,  Energy Research Accelerator, UoL Lead. For more info contact, Dr Harold Ruiz (Head of Group)
  • EPSRC-DTP programme, Project 2438289 (2020-2024). For more info contact, Dr Harold Ruiz (Head of Group)
  • Hi-Scale: From Materials to Devices. European Cooperation in Science & Technology , COST Action project CA19108. WG1 lead. For more info contact,      Dr Harold Ruiz (Head of Group)
  • EPSRC Superfem, Project No. EP/S025707/1. Superconducting Ferromagnetic Metamaterials Enabling the Development of Resilient High Voltage / High Current Transmission Systems (SuperFem). For more info contact, Dr Harold Ruiz (Head of Group)
  • Solar Boost British Council Newton Fund, Project No. 413871894. Boosting solar energy capacity of Indonesia without compromising protected areas: an integrated GIS tailoring solar energy resource and local information. For more info contact, Dr Harold Ruiz (Head of Group)

Academic staff

Full Professors

Readers and Associate Professors


PhD applications

The group welcomes students to study for PhD degrees in any of its research areas. Informal discussion can be made with either the Head of Group or any of the Aerospace engineering group members directly. Details of potential research topics can be found in the websites of Aerospace engineering group members.

For details of the application procedure, please contact Mrs Michelle Pryce. Learn more and apply for a Research degree in Engineering.

Back to top