Fundamental advances in aerodynamics are a key research focus for this theme which, integrated with mechanical design, enables improved autonomous airborne and space systems across a range of scales and applications.
Researchers in this area have strong links with global aerospace companies Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.
Our developments in airborne systems are underpinned by expertise in turbulence modelling and flow control, integrated with material and mechanical design, to innovate new aerospace systems spanning from micro-scale robotic devices, bio-inspired systems and hypersonic vehicles.
Fundamental strengths in computational fluid dynamics, experimental aerodynamics and multi-physics underpin research on fuel and engine performance, with a particular focus on degradation and emissions due to unclean inflows. And our foundational work in orbital aerodynamics supports our development of innovative space system concepts and technologies.
We have strong links with Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems, and international partnerships including with CARDC and CAAA. Further links are with unmanned aerial vehicle research (UAVs, drones), biomimetics, microsystems, flow diagnostics and space technologies - some financed by the EU Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 programme.
Areas of expertise
Our researchers specialise in the following areas of expertise:
The use of ground and flight-based experimental test techniques to improve design and grow innovative aerodynamics concepts for the future.
Aerospace vehicle systems
We work at the frontier of what is possible in the design and operation of unmanned vehicles that operate in the Earth’s atmosphere and under water.
We study nature to inspire future technologies. Adaptations in animals that walk, jump, fly and swim provide us with clues for game-changing design.
Our research allows exciting opportunities to provide novel engineering solutions for a wide range of problems within many diverse areas including aerospace, robotics, energy, biomedical and nuclear applications.
Space systems engineering
Our research provides innovative solutions across the space sector, by developing novel technologies and concepts for the utilisation and exploration of space.