Open research assistant / PhD candidate position on flight dynamics of unconventional electric aircraft

Technische Universität München
January 08, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Open research assistant / PhD candidate position on flight dynamics of

unconventional electric aircraft

21.12.2022, Wissenschaftliches Personal

Application closing date: 8 January 2023 Expected starting date: as soon as possible

Research overview

Recent developments in areas such as electrification and automation have paved the way for radically new types of aircraft. New electric and hybrid propulsion approaches, in particular, may not only provide solutions to the urgent problem of environmental impact, but also lead to new opportunities and new forms of mobility, meeting the requirements of an increasingly mobile global population. Current energy storage technology already makes electric propulsion viable for short distances and smaller aircraft. However, many challenges still need to be tackled for electric aircraft to truly take off. Electric aircraft are not only powered in a different way, but may also look and behave very differently to conventional aircraft. The favourable scaling properties of electric motors, for instance, open up new design possibilities, while heavy batteries need to be carried on-board throughout flight.

This project is part of a wider collaborative undertaking with academic and industry partners, focused on developing a new fully-electric regional aircraft. Due to the implications of electric propulsion, e.g. the need to accommodate a hefty battery, the envisaged configuration has several unconventional features, which influence its flight behaviour. In this context, the candidate will investigate and model the flight dynamics and control behaviour of the aircraft, using first-principles and data-driven methods, as well as sub-scale flight testing. The developed models will provide insight on the new configuration, especially the influence of its unconventional features. The obtained results will also support the iterative design loop. While the focus is on a specific aircraft, an additional goal is to generalise the results, establishing the typical limitations and opportunities of fixed-wing aircraft with a set of unconventional design features (e.g. structure-integrated batteries), that may become typical for electric aircraft. New modelling methodologies may also be developed. The obtained results will support future electric aircraft development, making a valuable contribution to a more sustainable aviation landscape.

Come and help to shape the aviation of tomorrow!

What we offer

This position is externally funded, with an initial contract duration of 2 years, and a total duration of 3 years expected. The candidate will be employed according to the collective wage agreement for the civil service (TV-L E13). The desired starting date is as soon as possible. TU Munich strives to raise the proportion of women in its workforce and explicitly encourages applications from qualified women. Applications from disabled persons with essentially the same qualifications will be given preference. The successful applicant will join the eAviation group at the TUM School of Engineering and Design, Department of Aerospace and Geodesy. The eAviation group applies dynamics, modelling and control theory to investigate novel unconventional flight solutions for small-scale unmanned and manned air vehicles. The group has access to an indoor flight arena, as well as outdoor flight testing sites for larger prototypes. The candidate will be based in Ottobrunn, at a short distance from central Munich, at the newest TU Munich campus, and in close proximity to several major industry partners.

Our expectations

The candidate will perform research in the outlined areas, and will be expected to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and present their work at major national and international conferences. The candidate will also collaborate with external project partners, participating in joint meetings and preparing technical reports. In addition to research, the candidate will supervise students and support educational activities in the group.


Candidates are expected to demonstrate the following:

  • MSc in a relevant field, e.g. aerospace, mechanical or electrical engineering
  • Technical background in flight dynamics and mathematical modelling
  • Basic knowledge of system identification, flight control and aircraft design
  • Interest in sustainable aviation and new aircraft concepts
  • Programming experience, e.g. in MATLAB, Python or C/C++
  • Ability to work independently and willingness to familiarise with new research fields
  • Motivation to work in a multi-disciplinary team and collaborate across research domains
  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Very good command of spoken and written English
  • Basic command of German will be advantageous
  • Note that the candidate should either require no visa to work in Germany, or already be in possession of the relevant visa.

    How to apply

    Interested candidates should submit their application (in English) to by 8 January 2023 with “PhD application” in the subject. Please include the following documents as a single pdf file: detailed CV (including publications if applicable), cover letter, full academic transcript, MSc thesis summary, names and contact details of two referees. If you apply in writing, we request that you submit only copies of official documents, as we cannot return your materials after completion of the application process.

    For informal enquiries on the position, please contact Prof. Dr. Sophie Armanini,; further enquiries on the application process can be made to

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