The gas turbine engine is a very complex, versatile and expensive device. It is used extensively in the oil, gas, power and process industries and its high power-to-weight ratio has made it the propulsion system of choice in aircraft applications.

A clear understanding of the basic principles underpinning design and operation is essential for engineers involved in the development, procurement, use, assessment and maintenance of gas turbines.  This knowledge is an investment that should pay handsome dividends.

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

The material comprises a balanced mix of physical processes and application descriptions. It is complemented by contributions from experienced guest speakers, who present special subjects, such as emissions, gas path analysis and case studies. Delegates will receive a certificate of attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

The aim of this course is to provide you with an understanding of how different types of gas turbine produce useful power and how their output is influenced by a very wide range of operating conditions.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to understand the influence of mission on the choice of gas turbine cycle and how gas turbines behave in a very wide range of operating conditions.

Core content

The content is split into three main sections:

  • Gas turbine principles
  • Design point performance assessment
  • Off-design performance

Gas turbine principles

This section comprises the delivery of basic gas dynamics, the use of non-dimensional or corrected parameters and a description of the joule cycle. The processes of compression, combustion and expansion are outlined. The two major categories of gas turbine applications are described: aviation and mechanical power applications. The concepts of thermal and propulsive efficiencies are introduced. The concepts of reheat, intercooling, combined cycle and the turbofan are explained.

Design point performance assessment

The influence on engine output of turbine inlet temperature, overall pressure ratio, bypass ratio and fan pressure ratio is explained. This description is made by means of SFC versus specific thrust or power representations. The side-effects of the selection of these parameters are also explained and the resulting choices in suitability for a mission highlighted. The concept of growth variants of a power plant is discussed. Different engine designs are described.

Off-design performance

This section contains a description of component characteristics and how the components interact to determine the behaviour of the engine. This explanation is given at a simplified level for an understanding of the principles involved and at a more detailed level, which is illustrative of the simulation methods in widespread use in the industry today. On a macroscopic level, the effect of different inlet conditions on gas turbine performance is explained. This includes altitude, hot day and flight speed. In addition, the behaviour of the engine is discussed with reference to changes in power output.

Who should attend

The course is intended for engineers and managers active in the gas turbine or associated industries. Staff of gas turbine manufacturing companies, airlines, oil and gas organisations, power generation, marine propulsion, etc. will derive great benefits from the knowledge received.


The course is presented through lectures and tutorials conducted by members of Cranfield University’s staff and our associates from industry and academia. The main speakers are:

Professor Pericles Pilidis (course director)
Peri came to Cranfield from the British Caledonian group where he was active in gas turbine overhaul. He is the director of the Thermal Power and Propulsion MSc and head of the Centre for Propulsion Engineering. He has applied performance modelling techniques to explain issues of relevance to operation, maintenance, control and techno-economic environmental risk analysis (TERA). Professor Pilidis has organised and contributed to many international teaching and applied research programmes in the power, gas, oil and aviation industries.

Dr Anthony Jackson
Tony was commissioned in the Royal Air Force, 1954-56, as pilot officer in the Fighter Control Branch. He then completed his Mechanical Sciences Degree in Cambridge. He was employed by Rolls-Royce from 1959 to 1997; he progressed through senior technical and management roles in performance, aerodynamics and design. He was heavily involved in the design of the new high bypass ratio aeroengines from 1962 onwards. He finished as director of technology for Rolls-Royce Canada. He has experience in aero and industrial engine design and technologies and was a UK member of AGARD Propulsion Committee, 1976–82. He is currently in part-time employment at Cranfield and Loughborough Universities, in research and education roles.


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 £530.

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 London and Birmingham 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, or rail, offering superb international connections. 

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.