Scientific activities / projects, PhD position

Software development for the aerodynamic optimization of hybrid laminar flow control on future transport aircraft

Starting date


Duration of contract

3,25 years


According to German 13 TVöD

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

The Cluster of Excellence SE²A - Sustainable and Energy Efficient Aviation - is a DFG-funded interdisciplinary research center investigating technologies for a sustainable and eco-friendly air transport system. Scientists from engineering, economics, chemistry and biology are working on the reduction of drag, emissions and noise, life-cycle concepts for airframes, improvements in air traffic management and new technologies for energy storage and conversion. Technische Universität Braunschweig (TUB), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Leibniz University Hannover (LUH), the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK) and the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) have joined forces in this extraordinary scientific undertaking. The overall project is structured into the three core research areas “Assessment of the Air Transport System”, “Flight Physics and Vehicle Systems” and “Energy Storage & Conversion”. (
A full-time PhD position until 31th Dec. 2022 is available in the SE²A core area “Flight Physics and Vehicle Systems” focusing on the aerodynamics of future blended wing body (BWB) aircraft configurations. The research work aims to further develop strategies and numerical tools
- for the physics-based prediction of laminar-turbulent transition of three-dimensional (3D) boundary layers on BWB configurations and
- for the design of hybrid laminar flow control concepts for BWB.

The goal is to establish an efficient gradient-based optimization tool chain for laminar drag reduction on BWB configurations by adjusting their 3D shape and optimizing the 3D suction distribution on their surface. The work requires a strong background in fluid mechanics and will include 3D numerical flow simulations, boundary-layer stability analysis, adjoint-based optimization and scientific programming.
The PhD candidate (m/f/d) will be part of a multinational research group within the Department of High-Speed Configurations jointly working on the improved physical understanding of laminar-turbulent transition, its prediction and control.

Your qualifications:

  • Master degree or equivalent in engineering (preferably aerospace engineering) or physics.
  • strong background in fluid mechanics / aerodynamics.
  • skills in computational fluid dynamics, numerical methods and code development (preferably in Fortran and Python).
  • background in boundary-layer transition preferable.
  • good command of English and German

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Dr. Stefan Hein
Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology

Phone: +49 551 709-2687

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Vacancy 39992

HR department Göttingen

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DLR site Göttingen

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DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology

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