Aircraft Icing


Development of models for the adhesive and cohesive failure of ice

Supervisor: Dr. Ian Roberts

Doctoral position

We have a role for a 36-month doctoral position focused on the development of models for the adhesive and cohesive failure of ice on standard and icephobic aerospace coatings in combination with low power ice protection systems (electrothermal, electromechanical or piezoelectric).  To fulfil this role, we are looking for a young graduate with a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Engineering, Surface Science or Applied/Engineering Mathematics with experience in icing, finite element analysis and/or adhesive/cohesive failure modelling/experiments.  Relevant industrial experience is an advantage but not essential for this post.

The candidate will participate as an early-stage researcher (ESR) to the Marie Skłodowska – Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN) project: “Smart surface design for efficient ice protection and control” (SURFICE). This is a project under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The project will be carried out at AeroTex UK (UK), under the scientific supervision of Dr. Ian Roberts.  Secondments totaling 3-6 months at different SURFICE partner institutions will be part of the project.

The ESR will be matriculated as a doctoral Student of the Institut supérieur de l’aéronautique et de l’espace (ISAE-SUPAERO), from which they shall obtain the PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Job Description

The project will attempt to generate a new generation of experts in ice protection technologies. The primary objective for the ESR is to develop analytical or simulation tools for the prediction of ice failure on surfaces protected by low power ice protection systems (electrothermal, electromechanical and piezoelectric) when subject to aerodynamic forces and/or centrifugal loading.

The project will be organized into three main phases:


Modelling and Simulation


Secondments at ISAE-SUPAERO (Dr. Valerie Budinger, France) and TU Darmstadt (Prof. Ilia Roismann, Germany) are planned during the PhD programme.  These may be modified if more relevant/productive secondments become available as the work of the ESR and the SURFICE network evolves.

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Important dates

Expected starting of the working contract is between 01.06.2021 and 01.09.2021 (by agreement).

We look forward to receiving your application by the 31st March 2021.

Application process

By e-mail to and to, including the recruitment form and other documents given in the general information. This information also gives the ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA, the application requirements and the selection process.

For questions and further information on the position, please contact Dr. Ian Roberts at

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