The gas turbine engine is a complex machine requiring operation at extremes of pressure and temperature and demanding expertise at the highest level of engineering technology.

Concurrent engineering practices in the industry require the individual to have a thorough appreciation of the interaction between the various components of the engine. In addition, interactions between aerodynamics, thermodynamics and mechanical integrity for a particular component must be thoroughly understood if an individual is to make a useful contribution in gas turbine design and performance assessment.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 17 - 21 Mar 2025
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1710.   The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

In addition to lectures, this course also includes up-to-date presentations in computational modelling. Printed supplements are provided for much of the material covered in the course. A number of worked examples are undertaken by the delegates. Active participation from the delegates is strongly encouraged.There will also be a visit to Cranfield’s Gas Turbine Engine Display Area. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

On completion of the course, you should be able to:  

  • make a reasoned selection of the major performance parameters according to engine application.
  • broadly understand the impact on design and performance of the joint constraints of mechanical and thermal issues and the need for adequate off-design performance.

Core content

Gas Turbine Fundamentals
Fundamental fluid mechanics applied to the gas turbine engine. Properties of gases including entropy and viscosity. Reynolds number effect and qualitative treatment of boundary layer behaviour. Adiabatic and isentropic flow, static and stagnation conditions. Mass flow functions and choking.

Gas Turbine Performance
An introduction to ideal cycles. Component and cycle efficiencies and their relationship with specific consumption and air miles per gallon. Design-point analysis of turbojet, turboprop and turbofan (bypass) cycles. Influence of pressure ratio, peak temperature, by-pass ratio and flight conditions on specific thrust and fuel consumption. Use of non-dimensional groupings. 

Gas Turbine Applications
Comparison of behaviour of different engine types; choice of engine parameters for given duty.  Differences between engine architectures and current design/performance trends.

Axial Compressor Design and Performance
Overall problems of diffusing airflows. The overall compressor characteristic, real and ideal, stall and choke, the surge line, running line, effect of changes in inlet pressure and temperature. Off-design performance, use of variable IGV’s air bleed, multi-spooling. Choice of annulus geometry, tip speed, etc.

Axial Turbine Design and Performance
Overall problems of expanding airflows. The importance of passage shape. Choice of blade profile shape, prescribed velocity distribution. The axial turbine stage, velocity triangles, reaction, stage loading and flow coefficients; Limiting values. Design for maximum power, effect of Mach number, effect of choking and changes of inlet temperature and pressure. Factors affecting efficiency, efficiency correlations. Choice of design point according to application.

Combustion Systems
The following topics are treated at an introductory level:
Burning velocity; effects of pressure, temperature and turbulence. Performance criteria of combustion chambers; combustion efficiency, stability and ignition performance, temperature traverse quality. Fuel injection methods; spray injection, vaporising tubes, air blast atomisers. Use of alternative and residual fuels in gas turbines. Combustor cooling.

Gas Turbine Emissions

An overview of gas turbine generated pollutants with respect to mechanisms of formation. Effects on the environment and/or human health. Overview of limitation strategies. Overview of current aviation emissions legislation (ICAO) and emissions targets (ACARE) and their implications. 

Mechanical Integrity
Origin of loads on gas-turbine components. Factors and strength criteria for proof, ultimate, creep, fracture and fatigue cases. Integrity of specific components such as discs, blades, shafts, combustion chambers, casings, flanges, etc. Cumulative creep. Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics -. Effects of cyclic loading. Paris Law, mean stress effects. Types of vibration encountered in the gas turbine. Blade modes of vibration, including centrifugal and thermal effects. Methods of determining natural frequencies. Production of frequency diagram and methods of overcoming vibration problems. Critical speeds of shafts and alleviation by means of squeeze-film damper bearings.

Who should attend

The course is designed for new graduates/trainees or equivalent who will be closely involved in engine design or performance evaluation in the gas turbine manufacturing or user industries. The course will also be of value to experienced engineers in the gas turbine manufacturing and user industries who have a need for an overview of the design and performance of the whole engine.


This short course is a module within the MSc in Airworthiness which is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


The course is presented through lectures and tutorials conducted by members of Cranfield University’s staff and relevant external industrial contributors all of whom have considerable academic and industrial experience.


20% discount for Cranfield Alumni. 
10% discount when registering 3 or more delegates, from the same organisation at the same time.  

Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

We are pleased to offer an exclusive accommodation package at our Mitchell Hall hotel. Located on campus, all rooms are en-suite and available on a half-board basis from Sunday to Friday. The cost of this package is £560.

If you would like to book our accommodation package for this short course*, please indicate this on your registration form.

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

*Subject to availability.

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

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.