A 5 day course on compressor aerodynamic design and performance that combines the academic principles of compression systems with the state of the art methods for compressor design, development and testing as currently approached by world leading industries in the field.

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In addition, the engineer must understand the compromises and limitations imposed by the turbine on the compressor design and performance.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,710.  The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

Delivery of this course is through lectures, tutorials and a fully interactive hand worked design example coupled with a computer based design optimisation workshop. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

The aim of the course is to familiarise you with overall compressor design and performance principles through lectures, tutorials and a fully interactive hand worked design example coupled with a computer based design optimisation workshop. On completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • select an appropriate shape and geometry for the compressor annulus diagram
  • assess the interactions between aerodynamic and mechanical integrity requirements
  • produce a preliminary compressor design based on a prescribed design specification
  • assess the need for variable geometry, bleed, multi-shafting etc., to provide adequate off design performance.

Core content

Fundamentals of compressor processes

The basic diffusion process, analogy with conical diffusers, definition of pressure losses; separation and friction losses. Definition of pressure recovery parameters, loading parameters, etc.

The compressor cascade

performance: correlations, deflection, pressure losses, deviation, choice of incidence. Limitations due to stall and choke. Effect of space to chord ratio, stagger, camber, etc. Reynolds and Mach number effects, alpha-Mach number diagrams.  Diffusion factor, choice of base profile and blade numbers. Standard blade base profiles, C4, NACA 65, double circular arc etc. A general discussion on controlled diffusion blading. Tutorial examples.

The axial compressor stage

Stage loading and flow parameters, limitations in design on pitch line basis. Definition and choice of reaction or blade outlet angle at design, effect on stage efficiency. Limitations imposed with zero Alpha 0 stages. The ideal and real stage characteristic, limitations due to stall and choke.

Compressor design methods, philosophies and tools

High fidelity, state of the art and standard CFD methods.  Application on axial compressor detailed aerodynamic design.  Estimation of efficiency and loss sources identification.  The current status and recent trends in the industry.  Demonstration of an automatic compressor design and optimisation workflow.

Compressor overall performance

Definition of isentropic and polytropic efficiency, effect of pressure ratio, overall performance characteristics, surge and surge margin definitions, effect of inlet temperature and pressure changes, running line, choking effects. Effects on performance of: inlet flow distortion, tip clearance, snubbers, bleed slots etc.

Off design performance

Types of stall, rotating stall, flutter.  Use of variable IGV/stators, bleed, multi-spooling, variable axial temperature rise distribution.  Operability and inlet flow distortion.  Coupled compressor-intake system design for distortion tolerant systems.  Compressor control via inlet guide vanes, bleed valves.  Multi shaft system principles.

Installed compressor performance

Choice of overall annulus geometry: design for rising line, constant mean diameter, falling line. Choice of axial spacing, aspect ratio, limitations of rear hub/tip ratio.

Mechanical integrity

Loads acting on the compressor. Strength criteria and some associated factors. Fatigue and multi-axial fatigue. Selection of materials. Blade vibration and what to do about resonances. Blade and disc design principles.

Compressor design workshop

A full pitch line multi-stage compressor design is undertaken by course. Subsequently a design optimisation workshop is undertaken using a computer based compressor design programme.

Who should attend

The course will be of benefit to those with none or modest experience in compressor technology in the design, manufacturing and user industries.


The course is presented through lectures and tutorials conducted by members of Cranfield University’s staff all of whom have considerable academic and industrial experience. Additional lectures will be presented by senior engineers from industry.


Where more than five delegates are booking from within one site of one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

Accommodation is available at Mitchell Hall which is located on campus. All rooms are en-suite and bookings are on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. If you would like to book accommodation for this short course at Mitchell Hall, please indicate this on the registration form and we will arrange this for you.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.