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PDEng position – Design for maintenance of Hybrid/Electric Aircraft System at University of Twente

Καταληκτική Ημερομηνία: 
Παρασκευή, Ιούλιος 31, 2020

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme Maintenance offers you a 2-year position combining post MSc education and a design project to be carried out at DEAC (Dutch Electric Aviation Centre). The educational programme, carried out at the University of Twente, will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with DEAC in Teuge you will work on high level, creative new designs for complex issues.

The project is sponsored by the Municipality of Apeldoorn and connected to a larger research supported by Delft University of Technology, Aviation Academy and Deltion College.


In the past decades, the global environmental impact of aviation has introduced large risks for future growth. At Schiphol, the discussion on noise hindrance has already limited the amount of aircraft movements. In the vicinity of the airport there is a growing concern on air quality due to ultra-fine particle concentrations. On a larger scale, governments and scientists have proposed to substantially reduce global CO2 emissions in order to limit climate change.

While these trends seem to pose a threat to aviation in general, they also generate opportunities. One possible technological solution to most of these environmental concerns is the development of hybrid or electric aircraft. In these aircrafts traditional engines are replaced by electric motors that are driven by batteries, hydrogen fuel cells or other electrical power sources. These electric motors are relatively quiet and the aircraft themselves do not emit CO2 or other pollutants. The Dutch government has targeted a frontrunner position on the development of hybrid/electric aviation and has established a roadmap for Hybrid/Electric Aviation development in the Netherlands.

The Assignment

Introducing important modifications such as hybrid/electric aviation system on existing aircrafts does not require “low-level” adjustments, but it encompasses a complete re-thinking and re-design for fitting and interacting with both the surrounding aviation systems and with the airport ecosystems and infrastructures. As maintenance operations deeply affect both the operability and the financial side of an asset during all the lifetime, a Design for Maintenance (DfM) approach needs to be considered since an early stage in parallel to the development of the system itself.

The DfM research on the Hybrid/Electric Aviation System, will mainly focus on:

how the system should be designed so as to facilitate the maintenance operations regarding Reliability, Maintainability and Supportability factors ensuring same or higher level of safety for the operators and the infrastructures;
from a design perspective which are the most suitable maintenance policies (corrective, preventive, predictive maintenance) to deploy, taking into considerations the effects of the introduction of hybrid/electric aircraft system on procedures and behaviors, or possible new security threats, vulnerabilities or limitations

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