Marie Curie logo Airbus logo LMS logo UoB logo Alpes logo

ALPES (Aircraft Loads Prediction using Enhanced Simulation)

ALPES is an EC FP7 Marie Curie European Industrial Doctorate Training Network which runs from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2017. The aim of the network is to improve the prediction accuracy and efficiency of the loads experienced by an aircraft in-flight and on the ground.

The ALPES network wlll involve five PhDs combining a novel research programme with a highly industrially focused training schedule, including placements at Airbus in the UK and/or France.

Further information:

For further information on the project please download Network Overview [299 kB]

For general enquiries please contact:

Project Contact:

Professor Jonathan Cooper
RAEng Airbus Sir George White Chair in Aerospace Engineering
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Room 1.53, Queen's Building
University Walk
Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1TR
Tel: (0117) 954 5388

Project Administrator:

Sarah Hassall
Tel: (0117) 331 5819

Project events include:

ALPES First Annual Review Meeting – 5 - 6 June 2014

Introduction to Aircraft Aeroelasticity and Loads: 14 – 18 July 2014

The group comprises:


 Professor Jonathan Cooper

Professor Jonathan Cooper :Royal Academy of Engineering Airbus Sir George White Chair of Aerospace Engineering.

Upon obtaining a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of London, Jonathan Cooper worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Farnborough, for three years before joining the University of Manchester in October 1989 as a ‘new-blood’ lecturer. During 18 years there, he made a significant contribution in terms of teaching, research and administration, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in October 1997 and Professor in March 2001, becoming the last Head of School before the merger in October 2004 between the University of Manchester and UMIST. Following a short spell as Professor of Aerostructures and Aeroelasticity at the University of Liverpool, Professor Cooper took up the Royal Academy of Engineering Airbus Sir George White Chair of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol in February 2012. His prime research areas are in aeroelasticity and loads, and is co-author of the Wiley textbook “Introduction to Aircraft Aeroelasticity and Loads”.

Dr Ann Gaitonde

Dr Ann Gaitonde: Senior Lecturer in Aerodynamics

Ann Gaitonde graduated in Pure and Applied Mathematics from University of Exeter in 1988 and completed her PhD at the University of Bristol in 1991. She is a member of the Computational Aerodynamics Research Group and her main research interests include the development of numerical methods for the prediction of unsteady fluid flows (both for compressible and incompressible including free surface flows), reduced order modelling, continuation and aerodynamic-structural coupling.

Dr Dorian Jones

Dr Dorian Jones: Senior Lecturer in Aerodynamics

Dr. Jones obtained a BSc in Engineering Mathematics from the University of Bristol in 1989. He was awarded his PhD in 1995, having rejoined the University to undertake a PhD on the Direct Numerical Simulation of turbulent flows. Subsequently he worked in the Aerospace Engineering Department as a post-doctoral researcher developing computational methods to calculate unsteady aeroelastic and multiphaseflows. These research themes have continued during his appointment as a Lecturer and have also been complimented with new research into: aircraft design loads; bifurcation analysis and reduced order modelling.

Professor Mark Lowenberg

Professor Mark Lowenberg: Professor of Flight Dynamics

Dr Lowenberg obtained his BSc (Eng) and MSc in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and later a PhD from the University of Bristol. His early career included four years in the Flight Mechanics Division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa and six years as a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand. He joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Bristol in December 1992.

Jens de Boer Photo

Jens de Boer:  Senior Application Engineer,  LMS - a Siemens Business

Jens de Boer has a degree Mechanical with a specialization in Aviation and Space Technologies from the University of Brussels. He is currently a senior application engineer at CAE Technical Center Europe leader at Aerospace Centre of LMS, A Siemens Business, supporting the existing customer base for Aerospace mechanisms, and working together with potential customers to map their current problems to Siemens solutions



Dr Yves Lemmens

Dr Yves Lemmens: Senior Research Project Leader,  LMS - a Siemens Business

Dr. Yves Lemmens has a degree Mechanical Engineering and an additional Master degree in Aviation and Space Technologies from the University of Brussels. He has furthermore a Ph.D. from the Department of Aerospace Engineering of Cranfield University (UK). He is currently a senior research project leader at Aerospace Centre of Competence of LMS, A Siemens Business, where he leads a team of researchers that focus on multi-body and system simulation for aerospace applications. He is involved in many European and Belgian research projects, including the Scientist in Charge for LMS, Siemens Business, in the ALPES project and the Coordinator of the JTI Clean Sky project ASAM.


Tom Wilson: Head of Technical Capability for Aircraft Loads, Airbus

Tom Wilson graduated from Imperial College in 2000 with First Class Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He joined Airbus at Filton as a graduate trainee, and has primarily has worked in the Loads and Aeroelastics department on topics including static and dynamic aeroelasticity, flight and ground loads, and in-service support for overload events. Tom has worked on all Airbus aircraft families and on a range of internal and external research projects, and has held a number of managerial positions. Currently Tom is the Head of technical capability for aircraft loads.

Michele Castellani

Michele Castellani: Researcher, ALPES Project

Michele Castellani studied Aeronautical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and obtained the BSc (Laurea) in 2008 and the MSc (Laurea Specialistica) in 2011, specializing in aircraft structures and aeroelasticity. Following the graduation, he joined in September 2011 Pilatus Aircraft Ltd., Switzerland, as a Loads Engineer in the Future Projects Department. There he worked on Pilatus PC-24 project, a twin-engine business jet whose entry into service is scheduled for 2017. His main responsibilities included design and certification loads calculation, with a particular focus on ground loads and aircraft aeroelastic response. In May 2014 he joined LMS, A Siemens Business, Belgium, as an Early Stage Researcher in the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie project ALPES, a European Industrial Doctorate jointly organized by LMS and the University of Bristol. He is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the University of Bristol.

 Andrea Castrichini

Andrea Castrichini: Researcher, ALPES Project

Eng. Andrea Castrichini has got his Bachelor Degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2010 and his Master Degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 2013 from the University of Rome La Sapienza where he specialized in Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics.

He had a first industrial experience, as intern for 10 months, at MSC Software in Toulouse where he worked on research activities focused on Aeroelasticity and Fluid-Structure interaction problems.

He is currently registered as a PhD student at the University of Bristol and he is an early stage researcher for the Marie Curie project ALPES at Siemens-PLM in Belgium.

Adrien Poncet-Montanges

Adrien Poncet-Montanges: Researcher, ALPES Project

Adrien is an engineer in fluid mechanics from ENSEEIHT in Toulouse, France. Through a master at the Berlin Institute of Technology, he specialized in aeronautical engineering. Before joining the ALPES project for a PhD focusing on the development of efficient and accurate gust loads modeling techniques combining high and low fidelity methods, Adrien worked in 2011 at Airbus Bremen, where he developed graphic tools for validation of the PODRacer tool. Consecutively, he joined Airbus Toulouse during one year to improve the CFD post-processing capabilities, especially in the cases of deflected spoilers and windmilling cases. Heavily interested by industry and research, Adrien decided to join the German Aerospace Centre DLR for his master thesis where he studied the use of different surrogate models for efficiently quantifying the aerodynamic uncertainties, before doing comparison with direct sampling methods and measured data. Through this PhD, Adrien hopes for extending his knowledge of aeroelastics, non-linear systems dynamics and model order reduction, both promising fields.

Irene Tartaruga

Irene Tartaruga: Researcher, ALPES Project

Irene Tartaruga was born in Rome on 16 July, 1989. She had a passion for mathematics and aeronautics since early childhood. She graduated in Aerospace Engineering at “Sapienza University of Rome” in 2011 with a score of 110/110 Cum Laude. Her thesis was in Aerodynamic and titled “Boundary layer turbulence vortex generators”. She then specialized in Aeronautical Engineering at the same University getting a degree in2013 with a score of 110/110 Cum Laude. The thesis was on Helicopter Flight Mechanics and entitled: “Modeling and Robust Tracking Control of a Quadrotor”. During her specialization she has been accepted for the Path of Excellence, which has been successfully completed.

At the beginning of March 2014, she started a PhD project supported by the University of Bristol, LMS (A Siemens Business) and Airbus on the ALPES Project on the topic of the “Development of methods for uncertainty quantification of landing, gust and manoeuvre loads”. She is keen on travelling, hiking in the mountain, skiing, cooking and drawing.

Carmine Valente

Carmine Valente: Researcher, ALPES Project

Eng. Carmine Valente obtained a bachelor degree in aerospace engineering and a master degree in aeronautic engineering at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". During his master thesis he started to investigate new methodology for fluid structure interactions analysis and he continued to develop these subjects as research engineer in the department of aerospace engineer after the graduation.

In 2012 he started to work as consulting engineer for Labinal GmbH (SAFRAN). During this period he had the chance to collect experience working before for Airbus France in Toulouse and then for Airbus Germany in Bremen, where he supported both expert in the stress and structural dynamic departments.

With a solid experience in finite element analysis, and both structural dynamics and aeroelasticity from May 2014 he is early stage researcher for the Marie Curie project ALPES project in the department of aerospace engineer at the University of Bristol. He is actually registered as PhD student at the UoB and his activity is investigating new methodology for gust load modelling.