This course has been devised to provide appropriate instruction in theory, design and performance of combustion systems, aero and marine propulsion; energy and power generation; and oil, gas and process industries.

All the material covered is relevant to the requirements of those engaged in research, development and design in this field..

The syllabus includes lectures on basic subjects related to combustion, such as aerothermodynamics and heat transfer, but is mainly devoted to consideration of theoretical analysis appropriate to design, practical information on design procedure, and methods of overcoming problems in combustion development. Particular attention is paid to the problems of minimising smoke, gaseous pollutant emissions and low NOx design strategies.

Cranfield’s well-established one-week course in Gas Turbine Combustion is internationally known. We have a large well recognised team of engineers and scientists in the field of gas turbine combustion, supported by experimental facilities unique in the university sector, allowing combustion research and development. The facilities include high, medium and low pressure and high temperature rigs, supported by specialist instrumentation including those required for emissions measurements. Many experiments are designed specifically to suit particular investigations.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • 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. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

Gas turbine combustion is a wide and complex subject. This course offers an opportunity to acquire an overview and it provides a “road map” to guide design and development options. 

On completion of the course, the course delegates should understand basis concepts and theories of gas turbine combustors concerning combustor structures, fuel preparation, ignition, diffuser performance calculation, combustions efficiency, operational criteria, pollutant emissions, cooling and material technology, and the role of CFD in combustor design and performance simulation.

Core content

Pre Combustor Diffusers

  • Role of the pre-combustor diffuser, sizing, design technique, dump diffusers, aerodynamic diffusers and alternative configurations.

Combustion in the Gas Turbine

  • Performance criteria – combustion efficiency, stability and ignition performance, temperature traverse quality, exhaust emissions
  • Design criteria – determination of chamber dimensions and pressure loss to meet stipulated performance requirements.  Relative merits of tubular and annular chambers.
  • Combustion chamber aerodynamics – mixing, stability and flame holding in main combustors and reheat systems.  Choice of primary zone mixture strength.
  • Fuel injection methods – spray injectors, vaporising systems, air blast atomizers.  Injection and vaporisation of heavy fuels.
  • Retrofitting for Multi-Fuel Capability – fuel property effects on efficiency, stability, heat transfer, and emissions.  Fuel injector-combustor compatibility issues for fuel-tolerant design, retrofitting for improved fuel burn and reduced emissions, design modifications procedures.
  • Ignition in the gas turbine. Fundamentals of the ignition process.  Influence of chamber variables on minimum ignition energy.  High altitude ignition.  Ignition of heavy fuels.
  • Flame stabilization.  Combustion instability


  • Carbon formation and exhaust smoke.  Mechanism of formation.  Influence of fuel properties, fuel-air mixing, etc. on smoke production.
  • Gaseous pollutants.  Mechanisms of production of carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and aldehydes.  Effect on fuel-air ratio, inlet temperature, etc. on pollutant emissions.  Practical methods of reduction.


  • Hydrocarbon fuel types for gas-turbine combustors.  
  • Chemical and physical properties.  
  • Significance of standard laboratory tests.  
  • Factors influencing fuels selection laboratory tests.  
  • Factors influencing fuel selection and specifications.  
  • Operational fuel problems in aircraft and industrial gas turbine fuel systems and combustors.  
  • Implications to turbine materials and design.  
  • The substitute fuels for the future.

Computational Modelling

  • Alternative modelling strategies; empirical correlations, zero-dimensional models, chemical reactors.  
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics applied to combustion flows; turbulence models.  
  • Chemical source term closures, numerical procedures, grid specification.  
  • Model validation, flow field prediction and experiment.

Heat Transfer

  • General heat transfer processes in combustion chambers, regenerators and reheat ducts.  
  • Forced convection, conduction and luminous and non-luminous radiation from hot gases.  
  • Film and transpiration cooling.  
  • Double skin combustors.  
  • Materials and coatings.

Who should attend

While no precise academic standards are laid down, the course will be of greatest benefit to delegates with a university degree, or equivalent qualification, in science or engineering, or relevant experience. Although mainly intended for people actively engaged in the gas turbine industry, the course would also be useful to those about to enter that field, and to users of gas turbine equipment (power, process, oil and gas and marine 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.


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.