Contact Dr Bobby Sethi

Areas of expertise

  • Conventional & Advanced Fuels
  • Gas Turbines & Propulsion


General Background

Dr. Sethi is the Deputy Director of Research for the School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing. He is an Associate Professor in Gas Turbine Combustion and Environmental Impact. He joined Cranfield University as a member of staff in 2008. His research is focussed on investigating the technical and economic benefits, environmental impact and risks associated with novel, more efficient gas turbine technologies, alternative fuels and asset management strategies. He is currently also leading the numerical and experimental low emissions combustion research, teaching and continued professional development activity for both aero and stationary gas turbines. He has been particularly successful in securing significant research income from the European Union and more recently from IUK, ATI and FlyZero for projects related to reducing the impact of aviation on the environment. He has secured research income of more than £7.5 million.


Dr. Sethi received a BEng Honours degree from the University of Nottingham in 2002. He subsequently joined Phoenix Aviation Ltd in Nairobi, Kenya as an aircraft maintenance engineer. In 2004, he received an MSc Thermal Power “Aerospace Propulsion” degree from Cranfield University where he was also awarded the "British Aerospace Companies" Prize. Dr Sethi completed his PhD in the Department of Power and Propulsion at Cranfield University in 2008. His PhD thesis is entitled "Advanced Performance Simulation of Gas Turbine Components and Fluid Thermodynamic Properties". His research was part of the European Cycle Program of the EU FP6 project VIVACE.

Teaching and Student Supervision

Dr. Sethi is the module lead of the “Combustors” module of the MSc Thermal Power course and the Course Director for the “Gas Turbine Combustion” CPD course. He has supervised over 130 MSc students and 24 PhD students to completion.


Dr. Sethi has published 34 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 80 peer-reviewed conference papers.

Awards and Honours

Overall Project coordinator for the ~€4M ENABLEH2 EU H2020 project (2018-2022)

CU’s Low NOx H2 Combustion facility / ENABLEH2 featured in BBC (Look East), The Times,

The Guardian, RAeS, ICAO, ACI and ATI and European Commission publications (2018 – 2021)

Academic champion of a RAEng CU-Siemens Visiting Professor in Low Emissions Combustion Modelling (2018 – Date)

Lead of the H2 theme of UK-ARC ( (from 2021)

Associate Editor of the RAeS “Aeronautical Journal” (2020)

Technical Panel member for “Freedom Flight Prize”

Chairing dedicated sessions on H2 for aviation at EASN and ASME Turbo Expo conferences (2018 – 2022).

Winner of the Student Led Teaching Award for “SATM Best Lecturer” (2017)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (from 2016)

Keynote presentation for the Kenya Aeronautical Society at the International Civil Aviation Day Kenyan Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya (2011)

Winner of ASME Turbo Expo and SAWE Best Paper Prizes (2009 and 2010)

Winner of the British Aerospace Companies Prize – MSc Thermal Power course (2004)

Current activities

Head of the Low Emissions Technology and Combustion (LETC) Group – Propulsion Engineering Centre

The LETC group, headed by Dr. Sethi comprises 10 members of CU staff ranging from early career researchers to senior academics as well as 7 visiting academics/professors. The research portfolio and thought leadership of the group spans across four main themes; 1. Gas turbine combustion for aero and stationary gas turbines, 2. Hydrogen and alternative fuels for civil aviation 3. Technoeconomic Environmental Risk Assessment (TERA) of novel aircraft, rotorcraft and propulsion system technologies and asset management strategies to reduce the environmental impact of aviation. 4. Gas turbine operations: flexibility, degradation and performance enhancement.

Colleagues within the LETC group also serve as module leads of the “Combustors”, “Propulsion System Performance and Integration” and “Gas Turbine Operations and Rotating Machines” modules of the MSc Thermal Power course. LETC Group colleagues also contribute to the following CPD courses: Gas Turbine Performance, Gas Turbine Combustion, Gas Turbine Appreciation, Gas Turbine Technology for Operations and Maintenance Engineers and Propulsion System Performance and Integration.


Deputy Director of Research – School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing

As DDOR for SATM, Dr. Sethi’s main responsibility relates to supporting SATM staff with further enhancing research excellence, dissemination and impact. He was appointed as the UoA 12 “Engineering” lead for SATM for REF21 and was responsible compiling research outputs, impact cases and environmental statements for SATM for CU’s overall REF21 submission. He also supports the SATM Director of Research with research student management.


Current and previous industry clients/partners/collaborators include:

  • Airports Council International
  • Airbus
  • Alenia
  • EADS - IW
  • easyJet
  • European Hydrogen Association
  • FlyZero (ATI)
  • GKN Aerospace
  • Heathrow Airport Limited
  • International Air Transport Association
  • International Civil Aviation Organisation
  • Lufthansa Technik
  • MTU Aero-Engines
  • Rolls-Royce UK
  • Safran
  • Siemens
  • Thales 


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers