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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

Engines and Turbines research within the energy initiative is carried out across a number of departments and research groups at the University of Cambridge.

Research areas include:

Internal combustion engine research includes:

  • investigations into the modelling and control of combustion and its products
  • novel gas and particle sensors for IC engines
  • control of highly downsized engines
  • the characteristics of exhaust gas after-treatment devices (catalysts, particle traps)
  • modelling and optimisation of alternative fuel next generation IC engines which may be fuelled by biofuels and other low energy hydrocarbons.


Sensors for air pollution measurement and control research includes:

  • particle sensors for IC engines and atmospheric measurements
  • measurement and assessment of particulate matter and aerosol effects in the atmosphere
  • the characteristics of exhaust gas after-treatment devices (catalysts, particle traps)


Research on gas turbines for electrical power and aeronautical applications focuses on:

  • turbomachinery aerodynamics
  • combustion: lean combustion, ignition, new fuels
  • acoustics and thermoacoustics
  • modelling of spray breakup


Wind turbine research includes:

  • a 20 KW demonstrator turbine with novel electricity generation by brushless doubly-fed generators, which have increased reliability that will be particularly important for offshore wind farms. 
  • The aerodynamic design and control of vertical axis wind turbines is another area of interest. 
  • Several projects are investigating the design and construction of superconducting turbines for wind, wave and tidal power.


Some key research centres include:

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics - a partnership between universities and industry that provide a unique turbomachinery training and research experience for graduate students.

The Whittle Lab - Specialising in research into the fluid dynamics and thermodynamics of all types of turbomachinery, the laboratory has excellent contacts with industry and other research organisations.

The Rolls Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) investigates the optimisation of the composition, processing and performance of nickel-based alloys and other material candidates for aeronautical turbines.

We collaborate with industrial partners and are also actively involved in increasing both energy awareness and public understanding of the opportunities and challenges in engines and turbines.

Please visit individual faculty profiles to learn more about their research in the Engines and Turbines theme.  

People specializing in this area

Principal Investigators

Dr. Nick  Atkins
MHI University Lecturer in Turbomachinery
Professor Malcolm  Bolton
Retired Professor of Soil Mechanics
Professor Stewart  Cant
Professor of Computational Engineering
FOSSIL FUELS, CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE - combustion modelling and simulation, combustion CFD, two-phase flow modelling and simulation, petrochemical plant explosion safety case analysis
ENGINE AND TURBINES - gas turbine combustion CFD and modelling; thermoacoustic instability analysis
Professor Bill  Clyne
Professor of Mechanics of Materials
Professor Dame Ann  Dowling
President of the Royal Academy of Engineering
Former Head of Department of Engineering, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Chairman of the University Gas Turbine Partnership with Rolls Royce
01223 332739
Dr. Stuart  Haigh
University Senior Lecturer
Professor Simone  Hochgreb
Professor of Experimental Combustion
Dr. Matthew  Juniper
University Reader
01223 332 585
Professor Clemens  Kaminski
Professor of Chemical Physics
Professor Markus  Kraft
Member of the Energy IRC Steering Committee
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Professor Epaminondas  Mastorakos
Dr Geoff  Parks
Reader in Nuclear Engineering
01223 748553
Professor Nigel  Peake
Professor of Applied Mathematics
01223 339058
Dr. Graham  Pullan
Reader in Aerothermal Engineering
Dr. Catherine  Rae
College Lecturer in Engineering
Reader in Physical Metallurgy
Dr. Howard  Stone
Deputy Director - Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre
01223 334320
Professor Nedunchezhian  Swaminathan
Professor of Engineering
+44(0)1223 332586
Dr. Digby  Symons
Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
01223 760502
Professor Paul  Tucker
Rank Professor of Engineering
Dr. Alex  White
University Senior Lecturer in Thermofluids
Professor Liping  Xu
University Lecturer in Turbomachinery

Associate Members

Engagement Manager
Mr. Jim  Platts
Senior Teaching Associate
Head Future Systems

Postdoctoral Researchers

Graduate Students