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Engines and Turbines

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.  The lead for Engines and Turbines is Professor Simone Hochgreb.

People specializing in this area