A one week course covering the basic principles underpinning the design, operation and behaviour of gas turbines with an introduction to NPSS

At a glance

What you will learn

The aim of this course is to provide the delegate 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. The three major categories of gas turbine applications are covered, civil aviation, military aviation and mechanical power applications. When completing the course, the delegate should 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.

When completing the NPSS portion of the course, the delegate should 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.  Those completing the NPSS track should be able to create and run system models using the Introduction to Propulsion Simulation NPSS® software.

Core content

The content is split into three main sections since, as stated in the learning outcomes, the objective of the course is to give detailed insight in these key topic areas:

•           Gas Turbine Aerothermodynamics

•           Design Point Performance Assessment

•           Off-Design Performance

•           Introduction to Performance Simulation Using NPSS®

Gas Turbine Aerothermodynamics

This section comprises the delivery of basic gas dynamics including isentropic flow, an explanation of non-dimensional parameters and a description of the Joule Cycle. The processes of compression, combustion and expansion in turbines and nozzles are outlined, within a thermodynamics framework. The two main applications of the gas turbine, jet engines and shaft power output, are explained. The concepts of thermal and propulsive efficiencies are introduced. The concept of the turbofan is 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 Charts. 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 these 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.

Introduction to Performance Simulation Using NPSS®

The basic concepts and features of NPSS are covered beginning with the anatomy of an NPSS model; the NPSS Solver methodology and Solver object details; variables, arrays, and tables; creating elements; functions; units; and the final project developing a complete model and obtaining results.

Who should attend

The course is intended for graduates of engineering, science or mathematics who are involved in the gas turbine or associated industries. Previous industrial experience is desirable.

The NPSS portion of the course is intended for engineers responsible for modeling or analysing the performance of thermo-dynamic and fluid/thermal systems.


Professor P Pilidis

Mr. David Ransom


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

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.