Cranfield University

Cranfield University was founded for aerospace research and is an entirely post-graduate university primarily focusing on technology and management with a strong research presence in aerospace. The capabilities within the Propulsion Engineering Centre encompass a comprehensive portfolio of activities including analytical research, large-scale laboratories and educational programmes, covering gas turbine technology, turbomachinery and icing research, engine performance and diagnostics. The Centre has established an international reputation for its advanced postgraduate education, extensive research activity and applied continuing professional development. It is strengthened by close links developed with the international propulsion industry partners. The Cranfield University Rolls-Royce Performance UTC was established to undertake long-term research in the broad field of performance engineering covering aircraft engines and integration. Current projects focus on simulation, analysis and novel cycles. 
The Propulsion Engineering Centre at CU has made significant contributions to the development of performance simulation models and TERA assessments of several novel engine configurations targeted by several EU-supported research projects in aviation including VIVACE, VITAL, NEWAC, DREAM, CLEAN SKY and LEMCOTEC. These research projects have received considerable technical input from EU industrial partners and many of the MSc and PhD students have won “Best Paper Awards” based on the outstanding achievements published in their theses. Cranfield University therefore has outstanding experience in investigating novel propulsion technologies and are ideally placed to perform the activities outlined below for ULTIMATE project.

Role in the project

Within WP1 “Development of Technologies”, CU assesses the potential of several configurations of nutating disc cores and bottoming cycles, including synergies with other core technologies (e.g. intercooling and reheat). As work package leaders of WP2 “Evaluation Platform”, CU  leads the development of EIS Y2000 and EIS Y2050 reference configurations as well as the development of the TERA2050 multi-objective and multi-disciplinary evaluation platform for formal and consistent assessments of the ULTIMATE engines. Within WP4 “Development of ULTIMATE Configurations”, CU performs more detailed studies of the most promising engine configuration(s) identified in WP1. The studies will comprise engine performance simulation, engine general arrangement assessments, engine preliminary weight estimations, aircraft mission level performance and noise and gaseous emissions prediction. With WP5 “Communication and Exploitation”, CU performs scenario analyses to assess the economic viability of the ULTIMATE engine configurations as well as their ability to cope with evolutions of fuel prices and regulations.

Personnel involved

Vishal Sethi,
Principal Investigator for CU in ULTIMATE. He is the Leader of the Techno-economic Environmental Risk Analysis (TERA) for Civil Aviation and is a Lecturer in Gas Turbine Combustion in the Propulsion Engineering Centre at CU. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the H2020 project DEMOS. He was Principal Investigator for CU in LEMCOTEC. Dr Sethi jointly led CU activities within the SGO-ITD and the Technology Evaluator of the CLEAN SKY Project. He has made large contributions to EU projects including VIVACE, VITAL, NEWAC and DREAM.

Andrew Rolt,

graduated from Cambridge University in 1975 and joined Rolls-Royce in Derby to work on aero engine component design, preliminary design and performance. As a specialist in the Rolls-Royce Strategic Research Centre he studied advanced technologies for future engines in various projects, including the EU research programmes NEWAC, LEMCOTEC and ENOVAL. He was a management committee member on NEWAC and led its whole engine integration and assessment activities. In 2015, he joined Cranfield University's Propulsion Engineering Centre. Andrew Rolt is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He has several patents in his name. Within ULTIMATE Andrew is contributing to multi-disciplinary feasibility studies to assess potential synergies between the various ULTIMATE technologies.

Devaiah Nalianda,

Lecturer in Airframe Engine Integration, Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University. He was the focal point of contact for the Propulsion Engineering Centre for the Clean Sky SGO-ITD. He is currently the research lead for an ongoing research program between NASA and Cranfield University on turbo-electric distributed propulsion.

Joshua M. Sebastiampillai,

PhD researcher in the Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University contributing to the nutating disc studies in ULTIMATE. Furthermore, he contributes to the development of the operating cost model within the 'TERA 2050' multi disciplinary multi objective optimization platform. He completed the MSc Thermal Power course at Cranfield University and his thesis is entitled “Utilisaiton of LH2 for NGV blade cooling”. He received the “AVIC Prize” for his performance on the course.

Florian Jacob,

PhD researcher in the Propulsion Engineering Centre at Cranfield University contributing to the bottoming cycle studies in ULTIMATE, with a current focus on supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2). He completed the MSc Thermal Power course at Cranfield University and his thesis is entitled “Feasibility study of  S-CO2 bottoming cycles for aero applications”. He received the “Course Director’s Prize for Best Thesis on the MSc in Thermal Power” for his performance on the course. He furthermore leads and contributes to ULTIMATE’s research efforts on the development of the multi-objective, multi-disciplinary optimisation platform ‘TERA2050’.