Contact Dr Alistair Saddington

Areas of expertise

  • Aeronautical Systems
  • Airworthiness
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Flight Physics
  • Gas Turbines & Propulsion
  • Vehicle Aerodynamics
  • Weapons Engineering


Dr Saddington is an experienced aerospace engineer applying his background in experimental aerodynamics to solving practical problems related to piloted and autonomous aircraft, guided weapons, and related systems. He has a doctorate in engineering (EngD) from Cranfield University for research on short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft propulsion integration. 

Following industrial experience with Rolls-Royce (Bristol), where he worked on compressor aerodynamics for the Lockheed F-35 propulsion System, Dr Saddington joined Cranfield University in 1999 as a Lecturer, progressing to Senior Lecturer in 2010, and Reader in 2020.

Dr Saddington led the development of the University's part-time MSc programme in Military Aerospace and Airworthiness (MAA), which enrolled its first students in 2009. He held the inaugural position of Course Director from 2009 to 2017 and now acts in an advisory capacity to the current appointee.

Research opportunities

I am currently seeking highly motivated doctoral research students to work on aerodynamics-related topics applied to civilian and military aircraft as well as other engineering disciplines.

Current activities

Dr Saddington is a Reader in Aeromechanical Systems and the Deputy Director of Research for Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS).

Current and recent research projects include those funded by BAE Systems, Leonardo and the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD). Dr Saddington's research is generally in the field of applied experimental aerodynamics with the main focus directed towards high-speed compressible flows.

Increasingly, however, Dr Saddington is using his expertise to develop research teams to provide solutions to complex multidisciplinary projects involving a range of aerospace engineering disciplines.


BAE Systems

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (dstl)


MBDA Missile Systems

Ministry of Defence (MOD)


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers