In the world of turbomachines, mechanical failures are expensive, often even more expensive than the failure to achieve a thermodynamic target.

The modern trend is towards ever higher temperatures and rotating speeds making the attainment of mechanical integrity increasingly difficulty. However, the need for improved reliability and, in general, for lighter machines creates an enormous challenge to gas turbine engineers.

Cranfield has for many years had one of the largest programmes in the world of short courses in Gas Turbine Technology. The course, which deals with matters of mechanical integrity and lifing of gas turbines, both aeronautical and industrial, has been developed over the last 30 years as a component part of that programme.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 21 - 25 Oct 2024
  • 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

This 5 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 provide participants with the ability to carry out a simple stress and lifing analysis of turbmachine blades and discs. In addition, the determination of the natural frequencies of blades and their interaction with engine orders on Campbell diagrams will be addressed.

Core content

The course includes detailed coverage of the following topics:

How the Loads Arise

The origin of loads in a gas turbine engine is discussed. The major loads covered are those due to the engine cycle, rotational inertia, flight manoeuvre, precession, pressure, thermal gradient, torsion, seizure and blade release. Engine Mounting and bearing loads are also included.

Failure Criteria

At this stage the iterative loop load-geometry-stress-failure-redesign is completed by defining the various ways in which a material may fail and its strength defined. Monotonic properties,proof, ultimate etc. Creep properties, Larson-Miller, cumulative effects. Fatigue properties, SN and RM diagrams, influences such as stress concentration, mean stress etc. Cumulative fatigue, LCF, double-Goodman diagram technique, lifing rules, Neuber, “Rainflow” cycle counting. Fracture, LEFM, stress intensity factors, lifing from the Paris curve, damage tolerance, “retirement for cause” etc.


At this point methods for the design of specific components such as discs and blades are introduced: Axial flow discs, stressing by means of a discretised hand-technique which illustrates the distribution and relative magnitude of stresses within a conventional disc. Discussion of blade attachments. Axial flow blades: illustration of magnitude and distribution of stresses in a conventional axial flow blade by means of simple desk top methods, blade leaning etc. Flanges and bolted structures: design of flanged/bolted structures to resist leakage and failure from fatigue, bolt pitching rules etc.


In this section the main processes carried out by the vibration engineer are described. Determination of the natural frequencies of components such as blades, disc etc. both experimentally and from simple analytical techniques. In particular a reasonably accurate method for the determination of low-order natural frequencies of turbomachine blades are developed. Sources of excitation: stationary flow disturbances etc. Derivation of a figure which resonances may be identified, named variously the Campbell diagram, interference diagram, spoke diagram etc. Allowance for temperature, pre-twist and centrifugal stiffness. A methodology for dealing with resonances. Shaft Dynamics: critical speeds, squeeze-film dampers.

Gas Turbine Materials

Gas Turbine materials are required to withstand extreme stresses sometimes at temperatures in excess of their melting point. An overview of the latest materials technology for both hot and cold components is provided. The lectures cover advances in compressor blade materials, the technologies used in the manufacture of high temperature turbine blades and materials coating technologies.

Who should attend

Whilst no precise academic standards are required, the course will be of greatest benefit to members with a background which helps them to understand the subject matter, probably in science or technology. However, the desire to understand can sometimes compensate for any lack of previous experience. The course should be of benefit to engineers who require a basic understanding of the processes involved in the mechanical design and the life estimation of major gas turbine engine components.


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.