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The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics offers a four year PhD course in collaboration with the Universities of Oxford and Loughborough; at the end of the first year, successful students are awarded an MRes degree before proceeding to the doctoral programme.
The course benefits from the team of universities (Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Loughborough) and companies (Rolls-Royce, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Siemens, Dyson) that are collaborating to deliver the CDT. This team enables the course to provide students with an advanced course in the aerodynamics of gas turbines (compressors, combustors and turbines), as well as the skills (experimental, computational and transferrable) required to become the research and design leaders of the future in the field, in both academia and industry.
The programme aims to:
- produce research and design leaders of the future, in academia and industry, in the field of gas turbine aerodynamics;
- provide comprehensive research preparation training;
- equip students with a specialised technical understanding of the aerodynamics of each of the three major gas turbine components (compressor, combustor and turbine) and knowledge of the experimental and computational tools used in their design;
- expose students to the compromises and trade-offs that are inherent in the design of a real machine, including the limitations imposed by mechanical constraints, the interactions between components when they are integrated together to form the complete product, and the challenges of system-level optimisation;
- foster the development of non-technical research skills such as leadership, personal effectiveness, report writing, oral communication and presentations;
- expose students to different research groups and industry environments.
The MRes course will equip its graduates with a wide range of knowledge and skills, enabling them to fully engage in the field of gas turbine aerodynamics.
Graduates will have developed skills and understanding in the following broad areas:
- fundamentals of internal fluid mechanics;
- the advanced knowledge of flow in compressors, combustors and turbines, of design strategies used to improve the performance of these components, and of integration challenges when components are put together to form a system;
- holistic gas turbine design, including constraints limiting the aerodynamic efficiency of a practical design;
- a range of specialist methods for experimental measurement of flows in turbomachines;
- experimental and computational methods used in solving gas turbine aerodynamics problems;
- laboratory and research practice based in industrial and university research programmes;
- the ability to report research outcomes in an appropriate way for the intended audience;
- techniques for preparing reports (of different types), delivering presentations, writing technical papers, verbal communication and research planning and delivery.
By the end of the PhD, successful students will have produced original work making a significant contribution to knowledge in the area of gas turbine aerodynamics.
The CDT is run in conjunction in with the University of Oxford and the University of Loughborough. There will be placements at Oxford and Loughborough, and short courses in industry.
MRes students will be required to pass 4 core modules, 2 elective modules and 3 mini-projects, to attend 2 industry courses, and to write a project proposal dissertation. Teaching will take place through a variety of media: lectures; small group teaching; student-led and tutor-led seminars; field visits, guest speaker presentations and case studies, short block courses, mini-projects and industry courses, dissertation supervision.
Successful MRes students will then proceed to a three-year programme of supervised doctoral research, during which time they will continue to be supported by the CDT. They will continue to participate in CDT seminars and workshop events.
Students who proceed to the PhD may be supervised at any of the three partner Universities; the destination University is determined from the start of the course. Additionally, MRes students must complete mini-projects based at both Oxford and Loughborough.
The numbers given below reflect the MRes year only.
|One to one supervision||
20 hours per year
|Seminars & classes||
16 hours per year
32 hours per year
220 hours per year
|Small group teaching||
48 hours per year
A full week (40 hours) will spent doing a literature review at the beginning of the dissertation.
One of the core courses, Experimental Methods, will be assessed partly through a poster presentation.
Students can expect to receive reports at least termly on the Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System. They will receive comments on items of coursework, and will have access to a University supervisor for their dissertation. All students will also have personal access to the Course Director and the other staff delivering the course.
A major part of the MRes assessment is a PhD project proposal dissertation of up to 12,000 words.
At the end of the second year of the degree (the first year of the PhD programme), students will be required to submit a report of 10,000 to 15,000.
The doctoral dissertation itself must be submitted by the end of the fourth year (the third year of the PhD programme) and must not exceed 65,000 words. A compulsory viva voce examination will follow thesis submission.
One of the core modules (Turbomachinery Aerodynamic Design) will be assessed by a coursework report of up to 4000 words; another (Experimental Methods) will be assessed partly by a coursework report of up to 2000 words.
Elective options may also be assessed wholly or partly by coursework.
Students will also be required to complete three mini-projects, which will each be assessed either through a 4,000 word report or through a presentation.
One of the core modules is assessed by examination. Elective options may also be assessed wholly or partly by written examination.
The Researcher Skills core course and the two industry courses will be asseessed by a standard credit linked to attendance.
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