Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

MSCA-ITN UTOPIAE: ESR scholarship at Politecnico di Milano

This job offer has expired

    Politecnico di Milano
    EngineeringAerospace engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    15/04/2017 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Italy › Milano
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


Research outline: Protection from atmospheric hazards is one of the most demanding challenges in the design of a new aircraft. During its lifespan, an aircraft experiences a wide variety of environmental conditions, which often change abruptly during normal operation. For example, only a short period elapses from passenger boarding to the far-below-freezing conditions at cruising altitude. Manufacturers guarantee safety against all the possible atmospheric hazards a flying machine may encounter---unexpected wind gusts, rain, snow and ice, among others. Exposure to clouds composed by super-cooled droplets or to precipitations such as freezing rain or drizzle possibly leads to the accumulation of ice on critical components of the aircraft. Super-cooled droplets hold in an unstable equilibrium state which is perturbed by the impact against the aircraft surface.

Drop impact triggers water freezing and it possibly results in the formation of an ice layer which modifies the shape of the airfoil sections. Thus, aerodynamic performances are significantly compromised: maximum lift drops, stall angle reduces and parasite drag increases. Ice accretion over engine nacelle alters the airflow in the inlet manifold, whereas the ice accumulating on rotating devices possibly results in ice shedding and aerodynamic and structural load unbalancing. Moreover, localized ice structures accumulating on external sensors may cause misleading information to be conveyed to the pilot and ice accreting on the inner of mechanisms operating control surfaces may lead to mechanical lock of the control surfaces themselves. Thus, aircraft stability and controllability, and hence passengers’ safety, are severely compromised.

The interest towards ice accretion is not only limited to the aerospace industry, but it is also relevant in nautical and civil applications. A considerable research effort is being devoted to the design and operation of power generation and distribution plants located in alpine environments. Ice build-up reduces the efficiency of wind turbine blades, thus affecting energy production. Moreover, power cables and antennas can be slender structures which can get damaged by the overload introduced by the accreted ice or due to the activation of destructive aeroelastic modes.

The development of effective ice protection systems allowing to improve safety standards and, at the same time, to reduce operational costs and environmental impact, stems from a deep knowledge of the icing phenomenon and from an accurate prediction of the related performance degradation. Reliable investigation tools may help researchers and engineers understanding ice accretion. Moreover, quantifying the uncertainty of the operating conditions and of ice accretion models will enable the robust design of ice protection systems delivering the optimal effect in diverse operating conditions.

The research will exploit the library PoliMIce (Politecnico di Milano Ice accretion software) that provides a general interface allowing different aerodynamic and ice accretion software to communicate. The built-in ice accretion engine moves from the well-known Myers approach and it includes state-of-the-art ice formation models. The ice accretion engine implements a fully three-dimensional representation of the two-phase flow over the solid body, accounting for both rime and glaze ice formation. The software is described in G. Gori, M. Zocca, M. Garabelli, A. Guardone, G. Quaranta, PoliMIce: A simulation framework for three-dimensional ice accretion, Applied Mathematics and Computation, 267:96-107, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amc.2015.05.081, current implemented models based on the exact solution of the Stefan problem are reported in G. Gori, M. Zocca, G. Parma, A. Guardone. "A model for in-flight ice accretion based on the exact solution of the unsteady Stefan problem", 7th AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environments Conference, AIAA AVIATION Forum, (AIAA 2015-3019), http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2015-3019

Research activities will be carried out in close collaboration with the industry. A 3/6-month secondment will be carried out at Leonardo Aircraft Division in Turin, where best practices for design of anti-ice systems and practical applications. A thoroughly review of past and current experimental campaign will be carried out to identify the diverse source of uncertainties in the problem, including drop distribution and flight conditions, surface properties and test conditions, see M. Zocca, G. Gori, A. Guardone, "Blockage and Three-Dimensional Effects in Wind-Tunnel Testing of Ice Accretion over Wings", Journal of Aircraft (in press), http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/1.C033750

The 3-month secondment period at INRIA Paris will be dedicated to the application of state-of-the-art techniques for uncertainty quantification to the prediction of ice accretion and for anti-ice system robust design. To cope with the competing requirements of moderate computational efforts desired during early design phases and the interest in solution accuracy, a coupled multi-fidelity approach will be developed, linking hybrid 2D/3D CFD-icing approach to simplified models for surface properties and anti-ice systems.

Objective: to develop and analyse diverse models of variable complexity to determine the aerodynamic flow-field, the droplet trajectories and the ice accretion over an aircraft equipped with an anti-ice system; To characterise both aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in the above multi-fidelity models; To produce the optimised design of a robust anti-ice system for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.


More Information


Gross salary: 39,820.00 € per year

Mobility allowance for family, if required, in accordance with regulations for MSCA grants.

Eligibility criteria

English language (IELTS overall score 6.5; no sub-test less than 6.0)

Selection process

Instructions for applicants can be found in the UTOPIAE website (utopiae.eu), which directs all interested applicants to submit: a CV, a cover letter and two letters of reference. Each applicant can apply for a maximum of 2 posts within the network, and must indicate their order of preference. All applications should be sent to apply@utopiae.eu.

Additional comments

Secondments: the ESR will be temporarily based in the following institutions

  • Leonardo Aircraft Division, Turin, Italy, for 3-6 months, to work on multi-fidelity models of anti-ice systems and best practice for in-flight ice prediction and anti-ice system design.
  • INRIA Paris, France, for 3 months, to implement Bayesian-based techniques for handling uncertainty in model and experimental measurements.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


Degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering, experience with CFD, ability to program in C/C++/Fortran, solid background in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.

Specific Requirements


The applicant must not hold a PhD at the time of the start of the contract and have less than four years of experience in research. All researchers recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) and undertake transnational mobility. Mobility Rule: at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Additional information can be found at the website utopiae.eu.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Department of Aerospace Science and Technology
Via La Masa 34

EURAXESS offer ID: 177306


The responsibility for the jobs published on this website, including the job description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.


Please contact support@euraxess.org if you wish to download all jobs in XML.