The Gas Turbine Engineering Group (GTE), headed by Professor Vassilios Pachidis, is placed within the Centre for Propulsion Engineering in the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing. The Group provides a large range of continuous professional development (CPD) activity, as well as postgraduate education and research with emphasis on aero, stationary and marine power plants and related systems.

There are more than 20 academic and research staff within the Group, as well as 30+ doctoral candidates. This provides a scale of activity sufficiently large to ensure a long-term commitment to selected research areas. There are substantial collaborative programmes with leading universities across the world, national research establishments and councils, industry and government. The Group actively supports the Thermal Power MSc within Propulsion; the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Aero Systems Design, Integration and Performance; as well as the Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC) at Cranfield.

Research profile

The Group’s core competence is its ability to undertake detailed studies involving highly integrated, aero-thermal, multi-disciplinary models to improve understanding of power plant and sub-system design, integration and performance, in the context of the product’s life cycle and mission. In-house performance simulation tools, developed over decades, and optimisation methodologies for the whole operating envelope, life and environmental impact, form much of the basis of our research today. This integrates many aspects of the wider operation of the power plant and its various sub-systems. The optimisation of today’s technology, through interdisciplinary performance modelling and a better understanding of the behaviour of various sub-systems throughout the operating envelope, lies at the very centre of our research portfolio.

Examples include:

  • Power plant design and performance optimisation;
  • Power plant operability;
  • Power plant sub-idle performance;
  • Power plant certification;
  • Power plant electrification/hybridisation;
  • Turbomachinery design and performance optimisation;
  • Compressor surge and stall modelling;
  • Structural integrity;
  • Systems integration with airframe/vessel;
  • Environmental impact including contrails;
  • Novel propulsion cycles;
  • Alternative fuels;
  • Novel environmental control systems;
  • Supercritical CO2;
  • Propulsion solutions for urban mobility and air taxis;
  • Thermal management.