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

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

At a glance

  • Duration10 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£3,420.  The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately. Concessions available

Course structure

This ten day course is presented through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and worked examples. Printed course material is provided for delegates use during and after the course. Active participation from the delegates is strongly encouraged particularly during the worked examples in order to consolidate learning. All delegates will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon completion of this course.

What you will learn

The course aims to present an in depth coverage of all key aspects of gas turbine engine and component design and performance for both design point and off-design conditions. On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • make a selection of the major performance parameters according to engine application
  • select an appropriate layout for the engine
  • understand the limitations imposed on design point selection by the need for adequate off design.

Core content

Gas Turbine Fundamentals

  • A brief review of the fundamental fluid mechanics applied to the gas turbine engine; adiabatic and isentropic flow, static and stagnation conditions
  • Mass flow functions and choking

Gas Turbine Performance

  • Ideal cycles. Component efficiencies.
  • 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, bypass ratio and flight conditions on specific thrust and fuel consumption
  • Use of non-dimensional groupings
  • Simplified off-design analysis with constant component efficiencies and specific heats
  • Use of digital computer; iterative techniques
  • Presentation of results
  • Comparison of behaviour of different engine types; choice of engine parameters for given duty
  • Thrust augmentation methods, variable geometry and other modifications to basic cycle
  • Engine-intake matching
  • Transient behaviour of engines.

Axial Compressor Design and Performance

  • Overall problems of diffusing air flow
  • The axial compressor stage, stage loading, diffusion parameters, flow coefficient, reaction
  • The overall stage characteristic, real and ideal, stall and choke
  • Radial Equilibrium considerations, design for free vortex, prescribed vortex, graded work, etc
  • The overall compressor characteristic, surge line, running line, effect of changes in inlet pressure and temperature.
  • Off-Design performance, use of variable IGV's, air bleed, multi-spooling
  • Stage matching
  • Choice of annulus geometry, tip speed, etc.

Axial Turbine Design and Performance

  • Problems of expanding air flow and 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
  • The real and ideal characteristic
  • Design for maximum power, effect of Mach number, effect of choking and changes of inlet temperature and pressure
  • Factors affecting efficiency and correlations
  • Choice of design values according to application
  • Choice of overall annulus geometry and layout; rising line, constant mean diameter and falling line
  • A complete single-stage high pressure turbine aerodynamic design is carried out by the delegates in class
  • Subsequently, a computer programme is used interactively to undertake design optimisation of a single stage low pressure turbine

Blade Cooling

  • NGV and blade cooling, definition of terms, methods of cooling; impingement film and transpiration
  • The design compromise between aerodynamics, cooling and mechanical integrity

Combustion Systems

  • Burning velocity; effects of pressure, temperature and turbulence. Methods of measuring burning velocity. Chemical reaction rates. Reaction rate parameters applicable to practical combustion systems
  • Performance criteria of combustion chambers; combustion efficiency, stability and ignition performance, temperature traverse quality. Design criteria; determination of chamber dimensions and pressure loss to meet stipulated performance requirements. Relative merits of tubular, annular and tubo-annular chambers
  • Fuel injection methods; spray injection, vaporising tubes, airblast atomisers. Combustion chamber aerodynamics; diffuser characteristics, influence of inlet velocity profile on pressure loss and temperature traverse quality
  • Problems of ground starting and altitude re lighting. Relative merits of weak, stoichiometric and rich primary zones.


  • Gaseous pollutants, mechanism of production of CO, NOx, UHC and aldehydes
  • Advanced combustor designs - variable geometry, staged fuel, LPP concepts 
  • Carbon formation and exhaust smoke, use of alternative and residual fuels in gas turbines and the problems of combustion, pollution and corrosion that are encountered in using them.

Reheat Systems

  • Relationship between stability, burning length and combustion efficiency
  • Flame stabilisation and propagation
  • Design criteria
  • Problems of low and high frequency instability.


  • The application of diffusers to GT. engines and their effect on neighbouring components
  • Performance parameters, use of design charts, the effect of non-uniform flow distribution
  • Techniques for reducing diffuser length and raising pressure recovery

Combustor Cooling

  • Reasons for cooling
  • Flame temperatures versus maximum metal temperatures 
  • Typical heat release rates - heat transfer rates to the combustor wall 
  • Need for regenerative cooling
  • Fuel cooling, in relation to more advanced fuels 
  • High-pressure air cooling - external convection, internal convection - film cooling
  • Pressure drop limitations
  • Effect of cooling air on TTQ
  • Trend of cooling requirements versus pressure ratio
  • Cooling techniques - wigglestrips, machined rings etc.
  • Possibilities of transpiration cooling
  • Heat balance across chamber walls
  • Radiation and convection contributions
  • Estimation of film temperature - correlation equation
  • Radiant heat transfer
  • Overall assessment of wall temperatures, and influence of input parameters on final wall temperature.

Engine Noise

  • Principles of acoustic noise measurement. 
  • Sources and mechanisms.

Electronic Control

  • Types of system and their relationship with the engine
  • Fuel Systems: Variation of fuel requirements with operating condition
  • Fundamental types of control and methods of metering
  • Effect of burner limitations on the fuel system
  • Pumps. Scheduling systems (e.g. simple flow control, proportional flow control) 
  • Over-ride controls on speed, temperature, acceleration etc.
  • Governor systems (e.g. combined acceleration and speed control, electric), advantages and disadvantages.

Intakes and Exhausts

  • Intakes: General performance requirements of intakes
  • Pressure recovery, external drag
  • Subsonic and supersonic intake characteristics 
  • Variable geometry systems 
  • Flow distortion
  • Exhaust Systems: general performance requirements of nozzles 
  • Efficiency and off-design problems
  • Influence of area ratio on exhaust thrust and external drag
  • Variable geometry systems.
  • Thrust reversers
  • Silencers
  • Noise suppressers.

Materials Technology

  • Relationship of structure, design and operational properties of metals. 
  • Specific materials; nickel, cobalt and chromium alloys, the refractory metals, cermets, ceramics, titanium and composites, their availability, properties, potentialities and limitations for engine applications.

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, effect of mean stress, surface conditions and stress concentration on fatigue
  • Cumulative fatigue, double-Goodman diagram and rainflow methods
  • Examples of finite-element analysis
  • Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics - two parts of the same process
  • Griffith Criterion for fracture
  • The stress analysis approach. 
  • Fracture Toughness in plane strain and plane stress
  • Geometric and flaw shape effects
  • Effects of cyclic loading
  • Paris Law, mean stress effects 
  • Threshold Stress Intensity, Environmental effects 
  • Practical Examples - discs, rolling contact bearings
  • Types of vibration encountered in the gas turbine
  • Blade modes of vibration, including centrifugal and thermal effects
  • Analytical and experimental methods of determining natural frequencies, holography, laser-doppler, etc. 
  • Production of frequency diagram and methods of overcoming vibration problems
  • Disc vibration with transfer matrix solution
  • Critical speeds of shafts and alleviation by means of squeeze-film damper bearings.

Who should attend

It is expected that delegates attending this course will already have a good understanding of the fundamentals of gas turbine design and performance. Course will also be of value to more experienced engineers in the gas turbine sector who have a need for an overview of the design and performance of the main engine component technologies beyond their recent experience. Alternatively, previous attendance on either of Cranfield’s Gas Turbine Appreciation or Gas Turbine Performance courses would qualify the delegate ideally for this course.


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

This course is non-residential. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information about our on campus accommodation can be found here.  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

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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.