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Modelling of Transient Heat Transfer in Aero-engine Compressor Rotors

Project Description

Informal enquiries: Dr Hui Tang ()

The next generation of aero-engines will require an increase in the total pressure ratio in order to improve efficiency and meet environmental targets. This will decrease the height of the compressor blades, and with current clearance-control technology this would result in increased aerodynamic losses and flow instability. Therefore, the next generation of aeroengines requires improved blade-clearance control. The blade clearance is controlled by the radial growth of the discs, which is strongly affected by the temperature distribution and in turn the heat transfer in rotating cavities. For aeroengines, in which the conditions change for take-off, cruise and landing, the prediction of the transient disc temperatures is important. It is therefore the object of this project to model transient heat transfer in compressor rotors and validate the models through experiments on the compressor rig at the University of Bath.

The project’s goal will be achieved via delivering on the following objectives:

(1) Develop theoretical and computational models to predict transient heat transfer in compressor cavities and its effects on the temperature, stress and radial growth of compressor rotors;
(2) Conduct experiments on the multi-cavity rig at the University of Bath to validate the models;
(3) Implement the models in collaboration with engine manufacturers.

The proposed project will be developed within the Turbomachinery Research Centre (TRC) at the University of Bath. The centre is worldwide known for the development of theoretical models and experimental facilities for the investigation of the flow in rotating cavities in gas turbines. The centre has industrial collaborations with Siemens and Rolls Royce. The models developed from the project will be of direct use to the engine manufacturers.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or non-UK equivalent). English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

This project is eligible for inclusion in three funding rounds, subject to funding availability. Application deadlines: Wednesday 27 November 2019, Wednesday 29 January 2020 & Wednesday 25 March 2020. Early submission is advised. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020

Funding Notes

UK and EU candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University Research Studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.


[1] Owen, J. M. & Tang, H., 2015, Theoretical Model of Buoyancy-Induced Flow in Rotating Cavities, J. Turbomach., 137(11).
[2] Tang, H. & Owen, J. M., 2017, Effect of Buoyancy-Induced Rotating Flow on Temperatures of Compressor Disks, J. Eng. Gas Turb. Power, 139(6), 062506.
[3] Luberti, D., Tang, H., Scobie, J., Pountney, O., Owen, M. & Lock, G., 2019, Influence of Temperature Distribution on Radial Growth of Compressor Discs, ASME paper GT2019-91848

How good is research at University of Bath in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 61.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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