Aviation's impact on the environment - quantifying the global impact of aviation and proposing a mitigation strategy to drasti

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Aerospace Engineering


Research conducted as the primary focus of this PhD will determine strategies to radically reduce the climate impact of aviation, in the interim before all-electric aircraft become technologically and economically feasible. This will include development of a new tool, or extensions to existing tools, in order to accurately and comprehensively quantify the climate impact of flight. This will then be used to quantify the relative merits of each type of novel aircraft technology, and exploration of the potential for synergy between two or more of these approaches to reduce the overall environmental impact of aircraft.
For example: General use of hybrid electric aircraft to eliminate a proportion of the direct emissions on an aircraft powered by sustainable aviation fuel. Targeted implementation of hybrid electric propulsion in particularly climate-sensitive regions of the atmosphere, where the release of emissions has a much more prominent influence on the surrounding environment. Use of hopping flight (which, counterintuitively, leads to lower fuel burn on longer routes ), or Air-to-Air refueling to allow smaller, more efficient aircraft to travel longer distances.
An extensive review of promising mitigation strategies will be carried out using the quantification tool developed. Once a primary mitigation strategy has been determined, this will be more deeply developed, ideally in collaboration with relevant industrial partners, in order to determine a route to implementation and a definitive environmental and economic impact statement.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517872/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2445762 Studentship EP/T517872/1 01/10/2020 31/03/2024 Kieran Tait