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Department of Engineering Physics

MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics
The Department of Engineering Physics at Cranfield University has a broad range of teaching and research activities. It offers two taught Masters programmes, MSc by Research and PhD programmes as well as professional development courses. Professor Dimitris Drikakis is the Head of Department leading 11 academics, 3 members of administrative staff and a total number of 46 research students.
  • Our impact and facilities

    The Department is one of the world’s leading centres in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and cyber-physical systems. Our activities include both fundamental and applied research carried out using theory, advanced modelling and simulation in conjunction with large scale parallel computing.

    There has been considerable growth in the development and application of CFD in all aspects of fluid dynamics. CFD has become a standard modelling tool widely utilised within industry.

    The worldwide market of cyber-physical systems and specifically for unmanned and autonomous vehicles is expanding rapidly. Autonomous airborne vehicles have numerous existing and potential applications including search and surveillance, mapping crop-spraying, environmental and weather monitoring.

    The Head of Department, Professor Dimitris Drikakis, was honoured twice (2008 and 2012) with the William Penney Fellowship by AWE in recognition of his research in Compressible Fluid Dynamics.

  • Working with us

    Below is a list of our areas of expertise within the Department:

    Autonomous Systems

    • Cooperative control
    • Cyber-physical systems
    • Fuel cells and energy management
    • Integrated system health management
    • Multi-vehicle reasoning
    • Path planning and trajectory management
    • Sense and avoid.

    Computational Science

    • High Performance parallel computing (MPI and GPUs)
    • Machine learning (Graph partitioning and data mining methods)
    • Numerical algorithms
    • Uncertainty quantification.

    Dynamical Systems and Control 

    • Avionics, ground control station and aircraft cockpit display systems
    • Control allocation and actuation control
    • Fault detection and reconfigurable control
    • Flight control design and analysis
    • Guidance and navigation systems
    • Intelligent systems
    • System identification

    Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer

    • Computational Fluid Mechanics, in particular for transitional and turbulent flows
    • High-resolution and very high-order methods for structured and unstructured grids
    • Large Eddy Simulation and Engineering turbulence modelling
    • Shock Physics
    • Thermal Management.

    Flight Physics

    • Aerodynamics
    • Aero-acoustics
    • Aircraft Integration
    • Bio-inspired vehicles
    • Fluid/Structure interaction
    • Morphing technologies
    • Reverse engineering of insect flight.

    Materials and Nanotechnology

    • Advanced materials for thermal management
    • Carbon capture using nanomaterial
    • Interfacial engineering
    • Multiscale methods and molecular dynamics.

    Networking and Sensing 

    • Bio-inspired perception
    • Data deluge and visual attention
    • Information fusion
    • Information consensus
    • Network control
    • Sensor and data fusion
    • Target tracking and estimation.
  • Current research opportunities

  • Postgraduate degrees

    • Autonomous Vehicle Dynamics and Control

      Cranfield is the first university to offer a masters course in autonomous vehicle dynamics and control. Programme covers fundamentals of dynamics, control systems, and autonomous systems & technology.

    • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

      This course teaches the essential skills and tools to understand, write and apply CFD methods to a wide range of fields. Students then focus on a specific application for their thesis project.

  • Professional Development (CPD)

  • Publications

    • Hobbs S, Mitchell C, Forte B, Holley R, Snapir B & Whittaker P (2014) System design for geosynchronous synthetic aperture radar missions, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 52 (12) 7750-7763.

    • Kim S, Oh H, Suk J & Tsourdos A (2014) Coordinated trajectory planning for efficient communication relay using multiple UAVs, Control Engineering Practice, 29 42-49.

    • Rajbansi B, Sarkar U & Hobbs SE (2014) Hazardous odor markers from sewage wastewater: A step towards simultaneous assessment, dearomatization and removal, Journal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers, 45 (4) 1549-1557.

    • Oh H, Kim S, Tsourdos A & White BA (2014) Coordinated road-network search route planning by a team of UAVs, International Journal of Systems Science, 45 (5) 825-840.

    • Sreenuch T, Tsourdos A & Jennions IK (2014) Software framework for prototyping embedded integrated vehicle health management applications, Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, 11 (2) 82-97.

    • He H, McGinnity M, Coleman S & Gardiner B (2014) Linguistic Decision Making for Robot Route Learning, IEEE Transaction on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, 25 (1) 203-215.

    • Sarrigiannis PG, Zhao Y, Wei H-L, Billings SA, Fotheringham J & Hadjivassiliou M (2014) Quantitative EEG analysis using error reduction ratio-causality test; validation on simulated and real EEG data, Clinical Neurophysiology, 125 (1) 32-46.

    • Snow BJ, Moulitsas I, Kolios AJ & De Dominicis M (2013)

      CranSLIK v1.0: Stochastic Prediction of Oil Spill Transport and Fate using Approximation Methods

      , Geoscientific Model Development Discussions, 6 7047-7076.

    • Zhao Y, Billings SA, Wei H & Sarrigiannis PG (2013)

      A parametric method to measure time-varying linear and nonlinear causality with Applications to EEG data

      , Ieee Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 60 (11) 3141-3148.

    • He H & Guest RM (2013) A framework of configurable multi-engine systems based on performance matrices for face recognition. In: 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, Waltham, MA, 12.11.2013 - 14.11.2013.

    • View all publications

  • Case studies and clients

    Our research activities are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), European Union and industry (aerospace, mechanical and nuclear sectors), in the UK and abroad. Recent high-profile clients have included: 

    • Airbus
    • AWE
    • BAE Systems
    • Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC)
    • MBDA
    • Ministry of Defence (MoD)/ Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
    • Selex
    • Thales
    • United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)