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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory   AFRL

Advanced Structural Concepts for Lighter and Low Cost Aircrafts


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Aerospace Vehicles Division

opportunity location
13.30.09.C0426 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337103


name email phone
James J Joo 937-656-8759


Modern aircraft has one of the most efficient aerodynamic shapes ever using advanced tools such as CFD. Aircraft structures and materials technologies have also developed over a hundred years since the first flight, but five or six decades old technologies are still widely used for substructure construction, which is composed of orthogonal structures such as spars, ribs, longerons, or bulkheads. These technologies experiences limitation to reduce structural weight to satisfy endurance requirements  and, for the last couple of decades, unitized structure and composite material based structure have demonstrated great potential to balance competing performance and cost requirements in aircraft design and, in some instances, attain performance beyond traditional capabilities. AFRL is interested in exploring advanced structural technologies that enables light weight and low cost structures. Research opportunities exist in advanced structural concept design, low cost manufacturing, and design for assembly, maintenance, and repair. The topics of research include but are not limited to: (1) Structural optimization using topology optimization; (2) Innovative structural concept (e.g., morphing / reconfigurable mechanism or structure, bio-inspired structure, tensegrity structures, etc) ; (3) Multi-functional structures (e.g. antenna integrated structure, battery integrated structure, etc); (4) Design for manufacturing/assembly; (5) Advanced prototyping (e.g., continuous fiber composite, automated fiber placement, additive manufacturing, smart tools, etc) ; (6) Low cost manufacturing; (7) Enabling materials and actuators (e.g. flexible/corrugated materials, meta materials, smart materials, novel hybrid compact actuators); and more

Topology optimization; Innovative structural concept; Spaceframe structures; Multi-functional structures; Advanced prototyping; Low cost manufacturing; Low cost design for assembly, maintenance, and repair


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$76,542.00 $4,000.00

$3,000 Supplement for Doctorates in Engineering & Computer Science

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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