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Part 2 - Projects

In Part 2 of the MRes (January-April), students experience working in the research laboratories of each of the three participating universities and also in industry. The mini-projects at Cambridge, Loughborough and Oxford will focus on compressor, combustor and turbine aerodynamics respectively; the industry courses will look at the challenges of integrating these, and other, components together into a successful machine.

University Projects

Mini Project 1 - Loughborough

This project begins with an introduction to the big research questions in combustion aerodynamics, followed by two weeks in which students can gain hands-on experience of the key computational and experimental techniques being used to answer these questions. The students will use Loughborough's fully isothermal annular compressor-combustor interaction rig, as well as investigating vortex shedding using state-of-the-art experimental equipment. The final part of the project gives the students a solid grounding in technical computing, and involves building a small Linux cluster and developing a parallel code to run on it.

Mini Project 2 - Cambridge

Compressor Performance with an Upstream Obstruction

This project makes use of one of the low-speed research compressors at Cambridge to teach the students about measuring the performance of a compressor. After the initial part of the project, the work becomes more open-ended as the students aim to design a fairing to minimise the effect on performance of an upstream strut. This is a common problem in aero-engine design, where other considerations (e.g. structural, delivery of hydraulic fluid) may have to take precedence over aerodynamic design.

The Whittle Lab's 3D printer are used to print prototype fairings, which are then tested in the compressor.

Mini Project 3 - Oxford

Turbine External Aerodynamics and Heat transfer  

The mini project at Oxford is divided into two one-week parts - one focusing on combustor-turbine interaction, the other on optimisation of internal cooling.

Part A: Combustor-turbine interaction

In this project, the students use the engine-representative blowdown rig at Oxford to learn the fundamentals of combustor-turbine interaction as well as make some transient heat transfer measurements.

Part B: Internal cooling with rib turbulators

The second part of Mini Project 3 is an open-ended investigation of the effect of rib turbulators on heat transfer. This project gives students an opportunity to learn about the trade-off between aerodynamic performance and efficient heat transfer, as well as teaching them how to use CFD and experiments to complement each other in a project.

Industrial Projects

The aim of the industrial projects is to give students a broader perspective on their research; considering the integration of different gas turbine components as well as real-world design and operation issues.

Rolls-Royce Holistic Gas Turbine Course

The five-day Holistic Gas Turbine course covers a broad range of gas turbine theory at a balanced level of detail. The theory is applied in an engine design exercise that features hand-calculations on performance, aerodynamics and mechanics. The course gives a whole-engine understanding of how the gas turbine works and how it is designed. Theory and detail is added to basic gas turbine design in this Intermediate Holistic Gas Turbine five-day course. 

Siemens Hands-on Gas Turbine Training